Hong Kong political party Civic Passion has announced it is to disband with immediate effect, a week after its chairman Cheng Chung-tai was ousted from the legislature.

Ex-lawmaker Cheng said on Friday that his party – founded by Wong Yeung-tat in 2012 – was folding as it was struggling to find a way to move forward in the local political scene. The Civic Passion chief was unseated from the Legislative Council last Thursday, after a new government vetting body ruled he failed a patriotism test to join the Election Committee.

Cheng Chung-tai july 1
Cheng Chung-tai. Photo: Dan Garrett/HKFP.

Two other Civic Passion members – Wong Siu-kin and Arc Wong Wing-sze – also resigned as district councillors on Friday. The party said it had served the community and “fought for Hongkongers” over the years, saying they were backed by many supporters.

“Facing the reality that there is no way forward in politics, the party solemnly announces to disband with immediate effect,” Cheng wrote.

Cheng’s disqualification was announced by Chief Secretary John Lee, who said the legislator did not meet the requirement of pledging loyalty to the city and vowing to uphold the Basic Law.

civic passion protest
A protest held by Civic Passion in 2016. Photo: Civic Passion.

Cheng was hence barred from becoming an ex-officio member of a powerful committee that will elect the chief executive and some LegCo members. He also cannot take part in the upcoming legislative poll.

With roots in the localist movement, the party was perceived to be a more radical faction of the broader opposition camp. It had advocated for “extending the Basic Law perpetually,” whereby citizens would be involved in drafting a “new Hong Kong constitution.” But the movement subsided in 2016, after an election alliance involving Civic Passion suffered a defeat in the legislative election that year. Out of five lists, only Cheng was elected. Founder Wong later quit the organisation but continued to run news outlet Passion Times independently.

The decision to disqualify Cheng leaves just one member of legislature who is not aligned with the pro-government camp.

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Kelly Ho

Kelly Ho has an interest in local politics, education and sports. She formerly worked at South China Morning Post Young Post, where she specialised in reporting on issues related to Hong Kong youth. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong, with a second major in Politics and Public Administration.