Island veteran's move to run as an independent deals Democratic Party fresh blow A veteran Democratic Party member who quit the party yesterday to run as an independent in September's Legislative Council election has been condemned as a traitor. His rebellion could dilute the party's support on Hong Kong Island. But Lai Chi-keong, who had failed to receive his party's support to stand, said there was no hidden agenda nor a vendetta against the party. He said he just wanted to serve the community. 'In fact, it was my constituents who forced me to stand for election. They asked me, 'have you got the local residents' interest at heart, or just your own party's interest?'' he said after making the announcement. Mr Lai was supported by about 20 residents as he handed in his nomination form. He said some members of the Democratic Party also supported his move but it would not be appropriate to name them. Mr Lai's move sent shockwaves through the party leadership, which is to hold an emergency meeting tonight to discuss the implications for the party's ticket, headed by Central and Western District councillor Kam Nai-wai. Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan condemned Mr Lai, saying he had split the party. 'He has betrayed his party, betrayed the Hong Kong Island supporters and betrayed his own belief in democracy.' Yeung Sum, Mr Kam's running mate, said: 'Nobody who supports the Democratic Party will vote for him because he is not a Democrat.' With Mr Kam's campaign already in danger because of the various lists fielded by other pan-democrats in the six-seat island constituency, Mr Lai's entry to the race will draw critical support, particularly in Eastern District - a Democrat stronghold. Civic Party leader Audrey Eu Yuet-mee said the more pan-democrats there were in the race, the less chance any of them would have of winning under the proportional representation system. Political scientist Ivan Choy Chi-keung queried Mr Lai's motives, saying that he had no chance of winning. Less than an hour after Mr Lai handed in his nomination, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong's team arrived with their own nomination forms. They were unable to conceal their glee when told of the news. DAB veteran Tsang Yok-sing said for the pro-establishment side to obtain four seats on Hong Kong Island would be a miracle - 'but we have never given up on working hard to create this miracle'. Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee would not comment, though the candidate list she heads could benefit from a split among pan-democrats. The government received five nominations for the geographical constituencies and six for the functional constituencies.