Civic Party dissolves after 17 years of operation as no members will run for Legislative Council election

Insert picture: Alan Leong

27th May 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Civic Party, a pro-democracy political party in Hong Kong, has officially announced its dissolution due to a lack of members willing to run for the Legislative Council election. In a press release issued at today’s (27th) special members’ meeting, the party announced its closure. The Civic Party, which was once the second-largest party in the district council, reached its peak in the Legislative Council, holding six seats.

The party was originally called the “Article 45 Concern Group” and was mainly composed of legal professionals and other experts. In 2003, the party organised a campaign against the proposed legislation of Article 23 of the Basic Law of Hong Kong, which it opposed. In 2004, the group participated in the Legislative Council election under the name “45 Concern Group” and won six seats.

In 2006, the Civic Party was officially established, also known as the “Barrister Party” because many of its core members were barristers, including Alan LeongAlvin Yeung, Tanya Chan, and others. In 2007, the party nominated Alan Leong as a candidate in the chief executive election and participated in the district council election. Although he was not elected, the party achieved a high vote share in the 2008 Legislative Council election and became the third-largest political party at the time. The party won six seatsin both the 2012 and 2016 Legislative Council elections.

In 2019, during the citywide anti-government protests, the Civic Party won 32 seats in the district council election, becoming the second-largest party in the council’s history. However, in 2020, after the implementation of the National Security Law, the Chinese government barred three of the party’s incumbent legislators, Alvin Yeung, Kwok Ka-ki, and Dennis Kwok, from running for re-election. As a result, they were unseated, and the party’s pro-democracy legislators resigned en masse, leaving the party without representation in the legislature for the first time.

The Civic Party faced further challenges when several of its core members, including Alvin Yeung, Kwok Ka-ki, and Jeremy Tam, were arrested for their participation in the pro-democracy 25+ primary election, which was deemed to have violated the National Security Law. Their arrests left the party’s leadership in a vacuum and prompted calls for the party’s dissolution.

Despite the calls for the party’s dissolution, its former chairman, Alan Leong, initially stated that the party would remain operational. However, with no members willing to run for the Legislative Council election, the party has officially announced its dissolution.