Pan-democrat split deepens as lawmaker Ronny Tong forms new platform for moderates
The divide among Hong Kong’s pan-democrats widened further as Ronny Tong announced he is preparing to form a new political platform of 30 moderate pan-dems that he hopes will contest future elections.
The divide among Hong Kong’s pan-democrats widened further today as lawmaker Ronny Tong Ka-wah announced he is preparing to form a new political platform of 30 moderate pan-dems that he hopes will contest future elections.
Tong, widely considered a dissident in the pan-democrats’ camp, said the 30 moderates would include friends, academics and young people. They would meet for the first time on Sunday.
He told DBC radio this morning that he would seek to formally establish the platform this summer, and hoped some members could run in future Legislative Council elections.
Tong, a Civic Party member, declined to comment if they include any other lawmakers, or give details on their identity and professions. He also refused to say if he would leave the Civic Party so he could establish the new group.
He said seeking genuine universal suffrage in Hong Kong and safeguarding the “one country, two systems” principle were the group’s main values.
“We all are pessimistic about the reform proposal being passed,” he said.
“Whether the political reform will be passed or not, I am concerned about how Hong Kong should make its next step, and whether the ‘one country, two systems’ would be dragged down or even collapse,” Tong said, adding those invited to the group shared similar views.
Tong is among 27 pan-democrat lawmakers who signed a declaration vowing to veto the government’s political reform plan. But he said the pan-democrats had done little to help the city achieve genuine universal suffrage when it merely attacked the constitutionality of the National People’s Congress standing committee’s decision on the issue.
At least five members of the Democratic Party have written to the party’s disciplinary committee calling for a probe into Nelson Wong Sing-chi, who on Monday called on pan-democratic lawmakers to back Beijing’s restrictive reform model for the 2017 chief executive election.
Nelson Wong was the second Democrat after former lawmaker Tik Chi-yuen to call on their counterparts in Legco to accept the limited democracy based on Beijing’s framework, which stipulates that only two to three hopefuls who win majority support from a 1,200-strong nominating committee can go forward to a public vote.