The Democratic Party will spend the next few months healing a rift between its mainstream and reformist factions before going flat out to win seats in the district council elections, a party vice-chairman said yesterday. Legislator Sin Chung-kai, who defeated reformists in last month's leadership contest with new party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan, also said the Civic Party was not a threat to the Democrats in the pan-democracy movement. The party's leadership is holding talks with its reformist camp, led by former vice-chairman Chan King-ming, and has offered several members positions as deputy party spokesmen on policy areas. This is seen as part of efforts by the new leadership to pacify party members disgruntled by the difficulties they have faced in gaining more exposure inside and outside the party. 'The most important thing in next few months is to heal internal rifts before the big event, the district council elections. For the party, the district council polls are even more important than the Legco contest because our base is in the districts,' Mr Sin said. Having been given the job of negotiating with other parties in the pan-democratic camp over strategy for fielding candidates, Mr Sin has met the League of Social Democrats, which has vowed to compete head on with the Democrats in some constituencies if negotiations fail. He said the Civic Party did not pose a threat in the district polls. The Civic Party's candidate for chief executive, legislator Alan Leong Kah-kit, has the Democratic Party's backing.