Democrats rule out disciplinary steps

Linda Choy

THE Democratic Party yesterday ruled out any need to tighten disciplinary control despite one of its members backing Heung Yee Kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat in the election for Tuen Mun District Board chairman last week.

Party whip Szeto Wah said it was not viable to introduce tough admission requirements on members.

'As long as someone shares our beliefs and is willing to follow the party rules, he will be accepted.

'It is difficult for us to find out the intention of people joining our party,' said Mr Szeto.

Peter Lo Chi-hung took the party by surprise when he voted secretly in support of Mr Lau during the chairmanship election. Mr Lau won.

Cheung Yuet-lan, the Democratic Party's candidate for the chairmanship, lost by 15 votes to 11 after two original supporters switched their votes. Christopher Chu Cho-yan admitted he had voted for Mr Lau and was censured by the party for failing to keep his promises.

Mr Lo denied he had deserted the party, but later admitted to central standing committee member Albert Ho Chun-yan and fellow party member Josephine Chan Shu-ying, that he had voted for Mr Lau after discussions with conservative legislator Alfred Tso Shiu-wai.

On Saturday, he said he was withdrawing from the party and cancelled a press briefing scheduled for yesterday.

Mr Szeto said the incident reflected the party's determination to discipline those who broke promises.