Four former Civic Party members charged under the national security law have called for the party to disband in an open letter made public on Thursday, saying it “has completed its historical mission.”

Alvin Yeung, Kwok Ka-ki, Jeremy Tam, and Lee Yue-shun, in the letter to members of the pro-democracy party, said it “has no room for political participation at the level of the Legislative Council (LegCo).”

Civic Party open letter
(From left to right) Alvin Yeung, Jeremy Tam, Lee Yue-shun, and Kwok Ka-ki. Photo: Civic Party.

“Earlier in last year’s LegCo election, four people in our six lists were disqualified; three out of four of the legislators disqualified in November were Civic Party members,” the letter read. “…All of you in the district councils might very well face the same destiny. The political truth written on the wall is that the Civic Party has completed its historical mission.”

The authors of the letter were charged, along with 43 other democrats, on February 28 with “conspiring to commit subversion” under the national security law. The charge relates to their organisation of or participation in a primary election last July for the since-postponed Legislative Council election.

Lee was the only one out of the four former Civic Party members granted bail while the rest have been remanded in custody since February 28. The next hearing in the case is not till May 31.

The news that they had resigned from the party came during their bail hearings last month. Yeung, Kwok, and Tam later announced their decision to leave politics.

“Please forgive and understand our decision to leave the party and make the suggestion to disband [the party]. Things have developed unexpectedly to this stage. As former party members, your peace is our concern,” Thursday’s letter read.

“Soon the Civic Party will have to face the problem of district councillors taking oaths, requiring an imminent decision. Thereafter, we no longer have any role in the Civic Party to give an opinion. We can only wish here that you will act with wisdom, to avoid more members falling into the abyss.”

Civic Party
Civic Party members meet the press on July 30, 2020 regarding the disqualification of four members from the 2020 Legislative Council Election. Photo: Civic Party.

The four also said their morale was being “eroded day by day” as they faced “endless waiting and what could be years of trial.” They thanked the members of the Civic Party for their “care and teachings over the years.”

In a response to the open letter, the Civic Party said that after “in-depth discussion” it had decided not to disband.

“We have communicated sincerely within the party on multiple occasions,” the response read. “After repeated and in-depth discussion [we] decided to preserve the Civic Party and actively reform our direction of development.”

“[We] hope to continue to walk with Hong Kong people, justice, and conscience.”

Former lawmaker Dennis Kwok was the latest member to resign from the party. He announced his decision on Facebook on Tuesday after surfacing in Canada last week.

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Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.