We quit: 10 members from middle-of-the-road political party Third Side leave due to differences

They were to run in New Territories East in the upcoming Legco elections, but the party had decided not to field any candidates in the constituency

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 July, 2016, 9:39pm
UPDATED : Friday, 22 July, 2016, 11:28pm

Ten members of middle-of-the-road political party Third Side are leaving the group, saying it had fallen short of their expectations.

The party, however, said the reason behind the break was due to the decision not to field any candidates in New Territories East in the upcoming Legislative Council elections.

In a statement, the ten members, which includes vice-chairmen Marcus Liu Tim-shing and Ben Kuen Ping-yiu, said they joined the group with the hope that it could forge a new brand of politics perched between the two traditional blocs.

“[Unfortunately] we found that the party has not been able to overcome such polarisation,” the statement read.

The ten members added that the party’s interests were different from their expectations.

Founded by former Democratic Party lawmakers Tik Chi-yuen and Nelson Wong Sing-chi in January, the Third Side advocates dialogue with Beijing and a moderate approach.

Acting chairman Edwin Cheng Shing-lung said the members who left were all part of the team that was going to run in the New Territories East constituency in September.

He stated that the reason those members quit was down to the party deciding only to field one list in Kowloon West earlier this month due to limited resources.

“It’s a real loss, both emotionally and practically,” Cheng said.

The acting chairman stressed that they would try to convince the 10 members to stay, as they still had not given formal notice to leave.

But he maintained that the party would not reconsider fielding candidates in New Territories East in order to retain them.

“If they have valid reasons for fielding candidates in [New Territories East], we would listen. But merely demanding to run in the constituency is not enough. They should consider the bigger picture and the future direction of the party,” Cheng said.

Sixty-eight members remain in the party following the departure of the 10.