Party picks preliminary list for geographical areas The Democratic Party yesterday passed a preliminary list of candidates to fight the Legislative Council election in September. Nine members were confirmed to lead tickets, while leaving it open for the party's vice-chairman, Sin Chung-kai, to contest Hong Kong Island or Kowloon West. The endorsement, which envisages the party fielding up to 11 tickets in the five geographical constituencies, came after the party's founding chairman, Hong Kong Island legislator Martin Lee Chu-ming, announced last Thursday that he would not seek re-election. In a general meeting of members, 93 Democrats decided the number of tickets to field in each of the five geographic constituencies and the respective leading candidates. During the meeting Mr Sin, who now represents the information technology sector and had been intending to run in Kowloon West, said he was keen to run on Hong Kong Island but faced a problem. 'Since Martin has just decided not to run, upsetting the party's original plan, we have not done any opinion polls to assess Hong Kong Island residents' support for me,' he said. 'I will have to start from zero if I stand there.' Members passed proposals that the party field no more than two tickets in Kowloon West and Hong Kong Island. One ticket for Hong Kong Island will be led by Central and Western District councillor Kam Nai-wai, and one for Kowloon West by legislator James To Kun-sun. Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan said internal nominations for the two constituencies would be reopened. Asked about suggestions that independent Anson Chan Fang On-sang could join one of the Democratic Party tickets on Hong Kong Island, he said they had yet to discuss this with Mrs Chan. Candidate lists for each of the three other geographical constituencies were passed with both incumbents and new faces. In New Territories West, Mr Ho and former party chairman Lee Wing-tat will each lead a ticket, with party secretary general Cheung Yin-tung running separately. New Territories East will see incumbent Andrew Cheng Kar-foo and former legislator Wong Sing-chi leading two tickets. In Kowloon East, lawmaker Fred Li Wah-ming and Wong Tai Sin district councillor Wu Chi-wai will lead separate tickets. One seat has been cut because of a population decrease. It has not been decided how many candidates will run on each ticket. Mr Li, who could not attend because he is on a Legco study tour in Europe, expressed unease at the policy of having lists headed by new blood, telling colleagues in a letter: 'The Democratic Party should not give all its resources to new candidates and seed members. Incumbent legislators are facing a relatively risky arrangement of splitting tickets and they also need the party's support.'