Hot on the heels of the pan-democrats’ defeat in the Legislative Council by-poll in Kowloon West came another blow to the camp: 59 members of the Democratic Party, including Ricky Or Yiu-lam, chair of the district-based organization Concern Group for Tseung Kwan O People’s Livelihood (CGPLTKO) and five sitting District Councilors, announced on Wednesday that they are resigning their party memberships.
This latest wave of membership withdrawal within the Democratic Party has again raised concern about the growing fragmentation within the pro-democracy camp.
Or said the people who are resigning their memberships would actively consider forming another group, media reports said.
Speaking to us, Or has dismissed outright the recent talk in the political circles that the planned new group will target centrist and pro-establishment voters.
Among those quitting, 58 are from the New Territories East and one from the Hong Kong Island. The membership pullout in the New Territories East branch of the party has been developing for quite some time now.
Since September, the central committee of the Democratic Party has categorized the CGPLTKO as a politically involved organization, and pointed out that such dual political membership isn’t allowed.
As a result, Or and dozens of his colleagues have decided that it’s time to say goodbye to the Dems and go their separate way.
Some members of the Democratic Party admitted that their departure would undermine the party’s prospects in upcoming elections in New Territories East.
The total number of the Democratic Party’s sitting District Council members in the entire New Territories East is now down to only five or so, after the latest wave of member resignations, as per the party’s projection.
The party believes it has a lot of work cut out in trying to rebuild its network in New Territories East.
Other Dems point out that at the end of the day, it is the political energy and the appeal of a party and its candidates that matter the most in Legco elections.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Dec 7
Translation by Alan Lee with additional inputs from a HKEJ Dec 13 report
[Chinese version 中文版]
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