Civic Party

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For other uses, see Civic Party (disambiguation).
Civic Party
公民黨
Leader Alan Leong
Chairman Audrey Eu
Founded 19 March 2006
Preceded by Article 45 Concern Group
Headquarters Unit 202, 2/F, Block B,
Sea View Estate,
4–6 Watson Road,
North Point, Hong Kong
Youth wing Young Civics
Ideology Constitutionalism
Liberalism
Social liberalism
Political position Centre to centre-left
National affiliation Pan-democracy camp
Colours      Purple
Legislative Council
6 / 70
District Councils
7 / 507
Website
www.civicparty.hk
Politics of Hong Kong
Political parties
Elections

Civic Party (Chinese: 公民黨; Jyutping: Gung1 Man4 Dong2) is a liberal democratic political party in Hong Kong. The Civic Party is the third largest political party in the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, with six members securing seats in the 2012 Hong Kong Legislative Council elections. The party's Leader is Alan Leong and the chairman is Audrey Eu.[1]

Party beliefs[edit]

The party is considered part of the pan-democracy camp in the Legislative Council. The party's objectives are:[2]

  • to promote a democratic political system in Hong Kong built upon universal suffrage, the rule of law, constitutionalism, civil liberties and equality of opportunities for all Hong Kong people;
  • to provide support and services for members of the Party who hold elected public office and members of the Party who stand in elections as candidates to such public office as is open to election in Hong Kong;
  • to foster a sustainable community through partnership with civil society groups;
  • to promote civic education;
  • to foster social cohesion and undertake community projects for the well being of Hong Kong residents.

During the 2008 Legislative Council election campaign, candidates from the party also called for the introduction of a statutory minimum wage and a competition law.

History[edit]

Founding[edit]

The Civic Party was founded on 19 March 2006 as a coalition of six incumbent members of the Legislative Council. Four of them, Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, Alan Leong Kah-kit, Ronny Tong Ka-wah and Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee were barristers, who had already cooperated as an informal bloc called the Article 45 Concern Group, reflecting their efforts to realise universal suffrage with Article 45 and 68 of the Hong Kong Basic Law. They were joined by two other incumbents, the then functional constituency Legislative Councillors Mandy Tam Heung-man (Accountancy) and Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung (Social Welfare), as well as a number of pan-democratic academics.[3] Political scientist Professor Kuan Hsin-chi became the first Chairman of the Civic Party and Audrey Eu the first Leader of the party. At the time of formation, the party was holding six seats in the Legislative Council, making it the fourth largest party.

The Article 45 Concern Group was transferred from the Article 23 Concern Group launched in 2002 opposing the legislation of the Hong Kong Basic Law Article 23. The barristers rose to fame as the issue escalated to a full-scale civil movement in the mid summer of 2003. Alan Leong and Ronny Tong were both able to elected to the Legislative Council in the geographical constituency direct elections in Kowloon East and New Territories East respectively.

2007/08 elections (2006–2008)[edit]

The Civic Party's first electoral test was its decision to run Alan Leong in the March 2007 "small circle" Chief Executive election, challenging incumbent Donald Tsang. The party and its ally actively fill candidates running in the 800-member December 2006 Election Committee Subsector elections and successfully won more than 100 seats. Leong's winning sufficient nomination votes to enter the race was viewed as a breakthrough in what previously had been seen as an entirely Beijing-orchestrated process.[3] However a safe margin in the Election Committee to assure Donald Tsang re-election, Leong eventually lost by 123 to 649 votes as a result. In the November 2007 District Council elections, the party contested 42 constituencies. Five incumbents now under the Civic Party flag were re-elected, and three rookies picked up new seats.[3]

With a slate of widely respected legislators projecting an image of competence and ability, the Civic Party went into the September 2008 Legislative Council elections heavily favoured, with some pundits predicting they would take over as the flagship of the pan-democratic movement from what at the time seemed to be an ailing Democratic Party.[3] However, the party's results failed to match pre-election predictions. Ronny Tong only took the sixth out of seven seats in his constituency, Alan Leong the final seat. While the Civics won a new seat for District Councilor Tanya Chan Suk-chong by placing Audrey Eu after Chan in the candidate list in Hong Kong lsland, Mandy Tam's internal battles with Accountancy functional constituency (FC) cost Tam her seat. In addition, Fernando Cheung's decision to give up his Social Welfare FC seat in favour of running in the New Territories West geographic constituency (GC) proved disastrous. Finally, Kowloon West GC candidate Claudia Mo Man-ching found herself under fierce attack by League of Social Democrats (LSD) chairman Raymond "Mad Dog" Wong Yuk-man, which the Civics believe cost Mo the election.[3] As a result, the Civic Party dropped one seat in total, while retaining the three seats in the geographical constituency and one seat in the Legal FC and also gaining a new seat in Hong Kong Island, but losing two seats in the Accountancy and Social Welfare FCs.

The Civic Party's 2008 electoral performance led most observers to conclude the party needed to rectify its weakness at the grassroots. At the party's 6 December internal elections, Professor Kuan Hsin-chi was re-elected chairman and Audrey Eu remained as Party Leader. Vice-Chairman Fernando Cheung and Treasurer Mandy Tam, however, resigned to take responsibility for their defeats. While Alan Leong replaced Cheung as vice-chairman, Cheung's duties as party strategist were picked up by Secretary-General Kenneth Chan Ka-lok. Tanya Chan was elected Chairman of the "Young Civics", the party's youth wing.[3]

Newly elected Civic Party Secretary-General Kenneth Chan suggested that the party should transformed from the elitist "barristers' club" image of the "blue-blooded" squad of barristers to a proper political party which could expand their base or groom the next generation of leaders for the party.[3]

2010 reform package and 2012 elections (2009–present)[edit]

The party was member of the Alliance for Universal Suffrage which consisted of all the pro-democracy groups to strive for the 2012 universal suffrage of the Chief Executive and Legislative Council. In response to the electoral reform package proposed by the government, the party joined hand with the League of Social Democrats, which belonged to the relatively radical wing the pan-democracy camp, to launch the "Five Constituency Referendum" by having five legislators resigning and participating in a territory-wide by-election to demand genuine universal suffrage. The claim of by-election as referendum expectedly received serve attacks from the Beijing government and the pro-Beijing camp in Hong Kong as unconstitutional.[4] The Democratic Party refused to join the movement and sought for a less confrontational way to negotiate with Beijing. The election turnout showed with only 17.7 percent of the registered voters voted despite Alan Leong and Tanya Chan were successfully re-elected. After the by-election Chairwoman Audrey Eu was invited by the Chief Executive Donald Tsang to a televised debate over the reform package. Audrey Eu was widely perceived to have scored an overwhelming victory over Tsang in the debate,[4] yet the reform package was ultimately passed with the support of the Democratic Party despite Civic Party voted against it.

In January 2011 party leadership elections, there was first changes at the top for the five-year-old party. Alan Leong took over from Audrey Eu as Party Leader uncontestedly, while Kenneth Chan beat Professor Joseph Cheng Yu-shek by an 11-vote margin after a heated campaign that saw some complaining about the fairness of the contest. Chan campaigned on a platform that was endorsed by most of the party veterans. Alan Leong denied the speculations of any intra-party factional struggle.[1]

The 2012 Legislative Council elections were held on 9 September 2012. Civic Party won a seat in each geographical constituency, five seats in total, and a seat in Legal functional constituency. These six seats made the Civic Party the second largest political party in Legislative Council and stood side by side with the Democratic Party as the largest pro-democratic party, though the popular votes gained by the Civics in the geographical constituency surpassed the Democrats.

Structure[edit]

The party is managed by the nineteen-member Executive Committee, headed by the chairman and Leader. It has five Policy Branches, five District Branches, and a youth branch known as the Young Civics.

The admittance of any new member must be backed by two existing members. In addition, a prospective member must complete local branch work for one year before being inducted as an ordinary member.

The party leading figures are:

  • Chairman: Audrey Eu (2000–2012 Legislative Council Member for Hong Kong Island Constituency and Founding Party Leader)
  • Leader: Alan Leong (Legislative Council Member for Kowloon East Constituency since 2004)
  • External vice-chairman: Tanya Chan (2004–2008 Legislative Council Member for Hong Kong Island Constituency)
  • Internal vice-chairman: Stephen Chan Ching-kiu (Professor in Lingnan University)
  • Secretary-General: Bill Lay
  • Treasurer: Choy Kai-sing

Performance in elections[edit]

Chief Executive elections[edit]

Election Candidate # of votes  % of vote
2007 Alan Leong 123 15.38

Legislative Council elections[edit]

Election Number of
popular votes
 % of
popular votes
GC
seats
FC
seats
Total seats +/− Position
2008 206,980Steady 13.66Steady 4 1
5 / 60
1Decrease 4thSteady
2012 255,007Increase 14.08Increase 5 1
6 / 70
1Increase 2ndIncrease

District Council elections[edit]

Election Number of
popular votes
 % of
popular votes
Total
elected seats
+/−
2007 48,837Steady 4.29Steady
8 / 405
1Increase
2011 47,603Decrease 4.03Decrease
7 / 412
5Decrease

List of leaders[edit]

Leaders[edit]

Chairpersons[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Civic Party elects new leader, chairman". Radio Television Hong Kong. 8 January 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2011. 
  2. ^ "Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Civic Party Limited by guarantee, and not having a share capital". The Civic Party. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "CIVIC PARTY: MOVING FROM FAN CLUB TO POLITICAL FORCE". WikiLeaks. 
  4. ^ a b Lee, Francis L. F.; Chan, Joseph M. (2010). Media, Social Mobilisation and Mass Protests in Post-colonial Hong Kong: The Power of a Critical Event. Routledge. 

External links[edit]