The pro-democracy Hong Kong Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood (ADPL) has openly backed University of Hong Kong legal scholar Benny Tai Yiu-ting’s Thunderbolt plan, which aims to bring all the pan-democrats together for the upcoming Legislative Council elections in September.

The proposal urges all pan-democrats to coordinate in order to win more than half of the seats in the Legislative Council. Tai said that it was “not impossible” and that it would “bring the pan-democrats more power if there are discussions about political reform in the future.”

adpl rosanda mok
ADPL and Rosanda Mok (centre). Photo: 莫嘉嫻 Mok ka-han, Rosanda via Facebook.

ADPL Chairwoman Rosanda Mok Ka-han said on Tuesday that it has written to democrats, youth party Youngspiration, and the new party set up by student activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung, asking them to have a discussion and persuading them to take part in the Thunderbolt plan. She also did not rule out working with localist groups.

Mok said she hoped they would reach a consensus in May, before the nomination period in July. So far, ADPL is the only party that has actively voiced support for Tai’s suggestion, Apple Daily reported.

Benny Tai.
Benny Tai. File Photo: HKFP.

The party said that the aim of taking part in the plan was to win a majority of the seats in the Legislative Council and to fight against the administration of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. It was also to prevent votes from being divided, which would only benefit the pro-establishment camp. Mok warned that a failure to join the plan could lead to the pan-democrats winning many votes but only obtaining few seats, as was the case in previous elections.

See also: ‘Umbrella soldiers’ and pan-dems may join hands in upcoming elections, but localists remain sceptical

Mok also said that the party would be willing to sacrifice sending out ADPL’s Frederick Fung Kin-kee as a candidate in the New Territories West constituency, although she was confident that the party would be able to keep that seat.

“If you’re only thinking about your own party’s seats, it’s going to be very hard to coordinate under the Thunderbolt plan… even if it means in the end Fung would not be running, we would respect the decision and make the sacrifice,” she said.

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.