Sha Tin District Councillor Chris Mak Yun-pui and six other members of the Democratic Party announced their resignations from the party on Sunday.

In the letter of resignation, the departing members said that they wished to focus on community work and had no time for matters relating to the party. The letter referred to rumours regarding whether the party would arrange for Mak to run in the District Council elections in November, citing it as a reason to leave the party so as not to affect its development.

“The road to democracy is long and we can use different methods to fight for democracy in Hong Kong…We hope we will continue to be friends and work hard together,” the letter said. It also thanked various Democratic Party members, including Albert Ho Chun-yan, Lee Wing-tat and eight others.

The members’ letter of resignation. Photo: Yun Pui Chris Mak via Facebook.

Mak told Apple Daily that most of those resigning were young members in their 20s and 30s and had no intention of joining a new political party, especially not the new group founded by ex-Democratic Party member Nelson Wong Sing-chi. He also said the decision was not a revenge on the party for failing to arrange for him to seek re-election, and that he still respected everyone in the party and hoped the media would not use this incident to suggest that there was internal strife within the party.

Apart from Mak, none of the other six members are District Councillors. Mak has yet to state whether or not he wishes to take part in the upcoming District Council polls, but said that it would be especially hard without the support of a party.

Sha Tin District Councillor Chris Mak. Photo: Yun Pui Chris Mak via Facebook.

Democratic Party Chairwoman Emily Lau wished them all the best and said she respected their decision, commenting that members are free to come and go and there was no point worrying about it, RTHK reported. Vice Chairperson Andrew Wan Siu-kin said that if Mak’s resignation was accepted, the party will not send out a competitor against Mak in the elections, as Mak is still seen as a compatriot.

Earlier this month, founding member Tik Chi-yuen announced that he would be resigning from the party because he “shared different dreams” from the rest of the party. The resignation came after Tik attended the victory day military parade in Beijing on September 3. Tik has plans to form a new political platform with Nelson Wong, who was expelled in July for urging the Democrats to consider a compromise on the government’s political reform package.

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Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.