The House News
9th January 2014
Joshua Wong: Democratic Party Abandons its Allies
Democratic Party announced its stance on the Alliance for True Democracy’s universal suffrage proposal, saying that it is not necessary for the upcoming reform to include all three nomination channels: civil nomination, political party nomination, and nomination by the nominating committee. In response to this announcement, Joshua Wong Chi-fung, convenor of Scholarism, said that he’s surprised to learn this and that Democratic Party has destroyed the unity of the pan-democrats and and betrayed its allies. However, Alan Leong Kah-kit, leader of Civic Party, said that it does not matter. Convenor of Alliance for True Democracy (ATD) Joseph Cheng Yu-shek commented that there are discrepancies and misunderstandings between ATD and Democratic Party, he regrets about it but he is not surprised.
Joshua Wong said that Scholarism regrets that ATD’s proposal did not include the cancellation of the four categories under the nomination committee. However, it is very surprising that although ATD has incorporated Democratic Party’s original proposal into the final proposal, the Party did not stand by the Alliance. Wong believes that there are many allies in the path of fighting for democracy, but he is disappointed that Democratic Party has abandoned its allies and thinks the Party would damage the unity of the pan-democrats.
Wong added that Democratic Party should respect ATD and its allies – although each will have slightly different stance, being part of the alliance one should keep his promises and should not abandon its allies after a consensus is achieved. When asked if Democratic Party should remain within ATD, Wong said that although he thinks that unity is very important within the pan-democrats, if the Party does not agree with the proposal (all three channels are necessary), it is difficult for them to remain within the Alliance, “even if they say, it will make it difficult for (the convenor) Professor Joshua Cheng.”
Alan Leong, however, thinks that what Democratic Party announced does not matter because other members including Scholarism and Ronny Tong Ka-wah have proposed their own proposals, but at the end of the day, it all depends on the public’s decision – during the electronic referendum during Occupy Central.
Leong said, “(Democratic Party’s Vice Chairman) Sin Chung-kai said yesterday that he would support the promotion of ATD’s proposal”. Hence, he thinks that there is no need to think of hypothetical questions when the government propose its proposal, and he believes that, “(we) will figure out a solution when it comes.”
In response to People’s Power’s demand for Democratic Party to leave ATD, Leong said, “I cannot see the need of this” and there is no need to rock the Alliance’s unity.
Joshua Cheng admitted that there are discrepancies, misunderstandings as well as communications problem between ATD and Democratic Party, but he stressed that the government has yet to announce a reform proposal and there is not consensus amongst the members of ATD. He also said that when there are sufficient resources in the future, a public poll will be conducted and then the members of the Alliance will finalise their stance. At present, he said, the general consensus is to focus all effort on promoting the existing proposal.
In regards to People’s Power’s demand for Democratic Party to leave the Alliance, Cheng hopes that member will discuss this in the next meeting and to mediate the situation. When asked if he worries Democratic Party’s announcement could damage the unity of the pan-democrats and ATD, he admitted that, “this is regrettable, but not a surprise.”
Cheng also stressed that he hopes that there is sufficient room for negotiation amongst members of the Alliance.