For the first time, the two former rival pro-democracy parties, People Power and League of Social Democrats, are joining hands in their bid for the upcoming Legislative Council elections, with the aim to win at least six seats in the legislature. The two parties - both known for their radical protests – rebranded themselves as “progressive democrats” and are planning to field a total of nine candidates to contest Legislative Council seats in the five geographical constituencies. Despite vowing to resort to “formidable resistance” in their fight for democracy, they flatly ruled out pursuing “Hong Kong independence”, which, the League’s chairman Avery Ng Man-yuen rejected as “an impractical idea that leads Hong Kong to nowhere”. People Power chairwoman Erica Yuen Mi-ming said: “We want to lead Hong Kong out of the abyss by responsible means, and seeking independence is not one way.” The two parties held a ceremony in Causeway Bay yesterday to announce their joint election bid. In their election platform, the parties seem to recognise Beijing’s full jurisdiction over Hong Kong but called for Hong Kong to be granted “genuine high degree of autonomy” under which Beijing only takes care of military defence and foreign affairs. Their platform also called for accepting new migrants from the mainland, saying they should not be the scapegoats of Hong Kong people’s hatred against the Beijing government. The leaders rejected speculation that their joint bid was down to fears of the growing influence of localist groups. Yuen said: “We get stronger when we are united. We have a common enemy and he is Leung Chun-ying.” Ng is to lead a list to contest in the Kowloon West constituency, and his deputy Raphael Wong Ho-ming, together with Albert Chan, will contest in New Territories West. Leung Kwok-hung and Raymond Chan will seek another term and run in the New Territories East. People Power’s Christopher Lau Gar-hung and Erica Yuen will contest in Hong Kong Island, while Tam Tak-chi will contest in Kowloon East.