Candidates hope to raise profiles for district council and Legco elections Opposing camps in the contest for chief executive say the campaign could provide a vital training ground for party candidates fighting key elections later this year and next year. Beijing loyalists have so far remained in the shadows as Civic Party legislator Alan Leong Kah-kit and his allies have made the running with a high-profile campaign to seek nominations. This is likely to change soon after Tsang Yok-sing, a former chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, suggested the party actively take part in campaigning for Donald Tsang Yam-kuen instead of taking a back seat and merely handing him the 111 nominations the party holds. Mr Tsang, who is also an executive councillor, said the intense campaigning by the pan-democrats had already had an impact, with the popularity of the Civic Party and Mr Leong surging. 'We have to make a choice: either to keep a distance from Donald or jump in so as to capitalise on the campaign,' he said. 'Perhaps when Donald's popularity is higher, then [our popularity] will also rise a bit.' The party could throw its weight behind the chief executive by taking part in his campaign rallies, distributing leaflets and carrying out visits to canvass for votes, he said. This could help candidates gain experience and raise the party's profile for the district council elections later this year and the Legislative Council elections next year. 'The banners they wear may be about supporting Tsang Yam-kuen, but those who help him canvass for votes in particular districts are going to be candidates for the November [district council] elections,' Mr Tsang said. While acknowledging that Donald Tsang had sought the party's support in his election, the DAB lawmaker insisted that so far he knew nothing about the chief executive's campaign strategy. 'This suggestion is made purely out of our assessment that Donald will embark on some activities that not only target 800 members of the Election Committee but also the masses,' he said. Asked whether he had discussed the possibility of the party playing a campaign role with the chief executive, Mr Tsang replied: 'We have this idea because [we think] the possibility of this scenario arising is relatively high.' Civic Party legislator Ronny Tong Ka-wah, one of the strategists for the pan-democratic camp, believed the DAB's participation could help promote the chief executive election and the candidates' platform - something that the pan-democrats were keen to achieve. 'It can make the public feel that the chief executive election is something that relates to them ... this could also inspire greater aspirations for universal suffrage,' Mr Tong said, although he added that the resources and manpower of the pan-democratic camp paled in comparison with the DAB. He said the party's participation in the chief executive election had already had a positive impact on their profile, and he believed the benefits of this would become apparent in the forthcoming polls. 'The campaign has raised our status in the minds of the voters because they feel that if the pan-democrats are united, they can achieve something.' Wong Kwok-kin, chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions, and the Liberal Party's vice-chairwoman, Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee, said their groups also supported Donald Tsang although they had yet to decide the best way to help him.