Thirteen years ago, Raymond Mak Ka-chun was at the forefront of a university student campaign against the government’s plan to cut education funding during an economic downturn. That movement was largely unsuccessful, as ministers implemented the plan amid strong opposition. Now Mak, 33, is back with another difficult campaign: to win a seat in the Legislative Council election in September for his moderate think tank Path of Democracy, co-founded by former Civic Party legislator Ronny Tong Ka-wah. Moderate Hong Kong group Path of Democracy set to field three candidates in Legislative Council elections In a media gathering on Thursday, the former president of the University of Hong Kong students’ union conceded that he had “an uphill battle ahead”, especially because the think tank originally wanted its co-convenor, Joseph Lau Pui-wing, to run in New Territories East, a stronghold of the pan-democrats which Tong represented for more than a decade before resigning last year. Mak was planning to run in Kowloon West until Lau abruptly pulled out of the campaign last month, citing personal reasons. The think tank announced on July 11 that Mak would instead run in New Territories East. Mak said he had quit his job as a business consultant, and he was not too worried about the campaign. “In the past week, Ronny [Tong] often joined me in giving out pamphlets in the constituency, and there were plenty of middle-class voters who showed support ... They dislike filibustering in Legco,” he said. Tong said earlier he hoped Mak and another think-tank candidate, Gary Wong Chi-him, could enter Legco to form an alliance with other moderates to become a critical few and “revitalise Legco’s legislative function”. Mak said on Thursday that he hoped to break the political impasse between the pan-democratic and pro-establishment camps so the electoral reform process could be relaunched to achieve “one man, one vote” for the city’s chief executive. Lawmaker Ronny Tong launches think tank to improve Hong Kong-mainland China relations Tong quit Legco last year after a Beijing-decreed electoral reform package was voted down by pan-democrats, including himself. Tong said he resigned mainly because the camp failed to come up with a feasible proposal to lobby Beijing. For now, Mak said his priority included distinguishing himself from his major rivals, Civic Party incumbent Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu and Liberal Party member Dominic Lee Tsz-king. “Lee seemed to be creating conflicts in political circles ... but I suggested there should be a regular communication mechanism between lawmakers and the central government,” which was not a proposal of Yeung’s party, he said.