Scholarism disbands, announces political party

March 21, 2016 12:36
Joshua Wong (center) announces the dissolution of Scholarism and the upcoming launch of a politcal party and a new student group. Photo: HKEJ

Student activist group Scholarism, a key player in the 2014 Hong Kong pro-democracy protests, is disbanding and splintering into a political party and a campus organization.

The yet unnamed party is planning to field candidates in the Legislative Council elections in September, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports, citing convenor Joshua Wong.

Wong said Scholarism had become unwieldy because of a growing internal rift in the aftermath of the failed campaign for universal suffrage.

A new student group will be launched in six months. The political party will be announced in May, he said.

Wong said the decision, which had been in discussion for a year, was endorsed by nearly 90 percent of Scholarism members.

Wong and nine other core members will break away to form a political party while Scholarism spokesperson Prince Wong will head a new student group, also yet to be named.

None of Scholarism's HK$1.45 million (US$187,999) reserves will go to the party but half of the money will be injected into a legal defense fund for members facing prosecution for their role in the street protests and for future cases.

The party will take over Scholarism's offices.

Meanwhile, Youngspiration leader Baggio Leung told public broadcaster RTHK that his group is open to "some cooperation" with Wong's party.

But he did not rule out their parties competing head on in the Legco elections.

[Chinese version中文版]

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Hong Kong Economic Journal