‘Democratic Party still an important force’

Democratic Party chairman, Lo Kin-hei, on Tuesday said the party is still an important force in Hong Kong, despite it not fielding any candidates to contest the Legislative Council polls.

The party said its internal Monday evening deadline for members to submit applications to run for December’s Legco elections had passed without any member indicating their intention to stand in the polls.

Lo told RTHK that many members had recently become ineligible due to being disqualified, arrested or detained.

Others felt legislators wielded less influence nowadays, he added.

Despite Chief Executive Carrie Lam previously questioning the value of political parties that did not contest elections, Lo said a reasonable government should always try to listen to the public.

“Even though we are not fielding anybody to run in the Legislative Council, the Democratic Party is still a very important force in Hong Kong, because as long as we can represent the people – as long as the people believe that – we can represent them.

“I think that is important and I think that a reasonable government and a responsible government should always try to listen to the public and I believe that we will still be that voice for, and a vessel, for the Hong Kong people.”

In August, Lam had said the value of political parties should be called into question if they have no plans to take part in elections.

She had been responding to an opinion piece by a DAB member who warned the Democratic Party against boycotting the election.

“If a party that has a lot of members does not discuss, debate and participate in politics, then we should question the value of its existence,” she had said.