A MAJOR showdown is expected within the small 'l' liberal camp in the Kwai Tsing district on Sunday. The district, which has been the liberals' stronghold since 1988, will become a fierce battleground between the United Democrats of Hong Kong and the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood (ADPL). Both parties have sought to turn the district into their own power base by fielding as many candidates as possible. Leung Wing-kuen, vice-chairman of the Kwai Tsing Branch of the United Democrats, said the party had fielded 16 candidates for the 26 constituencies; 13 of them were expected to win. He revealed that the party also endorsed some independents in the poll, which should give them a comfortable majority on the board. 'Even if our members do not gain as many seats as we wish, our friends could help to take us into the leading role,' said Mr Leung. There will be a total of 27 seats for the Kwai Tsing District Board and only one of them is reserved for rural leaders. Any party gaining 14 seats will be able to control the board. Mr Leung said there was little room for compromise between the two parties and he blamed the ADPL for the breakdown in the parties' relationship in the district. The relationship began to sour when the parties failed to join hands in the 1991 Legco election. In recent months, the two sides were trapped in a bitter row over alleged abuse of district board funding and both sides called the police. The police Commercial Crime Bureau is still investigating the case. Mr Leung added that there would be a diminishing need to compromise with the ADPL after his party gained the upper hand in the election. The aggressive strategy of the United Democrats has come under fire by some long-time allies of the party. Leung Yiu-chung, an independent who has maintained a good relationship with both parties, said some United Democrat-backed candidates were in fact conservatives. Mr Leung, who has served in Kwai Tsing since 1985, criticised the party for creating allies for convenience. 'It is natural for a party to seize every possible chance to increase its power but expansion should not be gained at the expense of principles,' said Mr Leung. United Democrats candidates and allies will be fighting a head-on battle with the ADPL, which is fielding 10 candidates in at least six constituencies. The ADPL, though not as strong as the United Democrats, vowed to keep a strong presence in the district despite serious challenges by the liberals flagship. 'I don't believe any party will have a controlling share in Kwai Tsing after the poll on Sunday,' said vice-chairman of the ADPL and incumbent Kwai Tsing District Board chairman, Leung Kwong-cheong. Mr Leung also denied charges that the ADPL was to blame for the breakdown in the relationship. 'Both parties have their share in the row.'