SCMP Thursday, September 14, 2000


LEGCO ELECTIONS

Democrat adviser offers to resign

JIMMY CHEUNG

The Democrats' top strategist has offered to quit his posts in view of the party's poor electoral results. But at least one leading party member said Lo Chi-kin, who oversees Legco campaign strategies, should not give up all his portfolios.
Mr Lo is a member of the party central committee and standing committee. He also heads the policy division, one of four branches overseeing party operation and development.
In his resignation tendered on Tuesday, Mr Lo said he should bear responsibility for the seven-percentage point drop in electoral support for the Democrats on Sunday compared with 1998. The central committee will discuss Mr Lo's decision next Thursday.
It is the second time a Democrat has offered to quit in a show of political accountability. Cheung Yin-tung, who was responsible for district development, offered to step down following a similar loss in the district councils elections in November. The party persuaded him to stay.
Mr Cheung said he failed to see why Mr Lo should give up all positions. "We have to distinguish the election outcome from other positions. It's not because he has fared badly in other areas," he said.
But he said he would respect Mr Lo's decision to give up the election portfolio. "Building up a culture of political accountability is a good thing. It doesn't mean his performance is bad. He has tried his best." But Mr Cheung said it would be good to vacate the post and let someone else have a chance.
Mr Lo could not be reached for comment yesterday.