POLITICS
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Occupy Central

Youngspiration aims to be 'third power' in Hong Kong politics

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 March, 2015, 11:50pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 October, 2016, 2:38pm

A new group formed by former Occupy Central protesters says it aims to become a "third power" in Hong Kong politics - outside the pro-establishment and anti-government camps.

Youngspiration said Hong Kong, "as a self-governing city", had reached a critical moment of life and death, and a new political force was needed to break the impasse.

The group said it would focus on local issues, emphasising policies that were a priority for Hongkongers. It will put its popularity to the test by fielding at least eight candidates in this year's district council elections.

It also said it was not aiming to target the pan-democratic camp as rivals and it would not be part of the so-called coordination system within the camp aimed at preventing pan-democrat candidates from running against each other.

Convenor Baggio Leung Chung-heng, 28, said: "There are differences between us and the pan-democrats. But we do not aim to compete with them. We did not form Youngspiration to target the pan-democrats.

"We hope to create a third power in Hong Kong, breaking the present situation that is dominated by the forever-pro-government and forever-anti-government camps."

Spokesman Donald Chow Sai-kit, 23, said: "As a self-governing city with exceptional international standing, Hong Kong has reached a critical moment of life and death.

"Youngspiration also hopes to become a voice for young people. But that does not mean that we are anti-old people. We want to represent Hong Kong interests."

Chow said the group would not resort to any radical means to achieve its aims.

But, citing the protracted row over political reform, he said they would "consider any possible means to pressure the government or the legislature to change its decisions if they are not in Hongkongers' interests".

Youngspiration is one of several new groups founded by former Occupy protesters after the 79-day sit-ins for democracy. Its members became acquainted during the protests last year, after Beijing handed down a tough framework for political reform in the 2017 poll, when the public will elect its leader for the first time.

A 1,200-strong committee would pick two or three candidates for the public to choose from under the framework, which the pan-democrats have vowed to vote down.

With more than 100 members, Youngspiration has begun work in areas including Western, Tai Kok Tsui, and Hung Hom.

New political groups also sprang up after the anti-government mass march on July 1, 2003 - prompted by plans to introduce national security laws - and some fielded candidates in the district council polls that year.

Leung said it was too early to say how successful the group would be at the polls. "We'll let the voters make that decision."