Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood

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Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood
Abbreviation ADPL
Chairman Rosanda Mok
Vice-Chairmen Tam Kwok-kiu
Sze Tak-loy
Founded 26 October 1986
Headquarters Rm. 1104, Sunbeam
Commercial Bldg.,
469–471 Nathan Road,
Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon,
Hong Kong
Ideology Liberalism[1]
Social democracy
Social liberalism
Political position Centre-left
Regional affiliation Pan-democracy camp
Colours           Yellow, green
Legislative Council
1 / 70
District Councils
18 / 458
Politics of Hong Kong
Political parties
Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood
Traditional Chinese 香港民主民生協進會
Alternative Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 民協
Politics and government
of Hong Kong
Foreign relations
Related topics Hong Kong portal

The Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood (ADPL)[2] is a Hong Kong pro-democracy liberal political party catering to grassroots interest established on 26 October 1986. The current chairman of the party is Rosanda Mok.


In general, the ADPL has stated that its aims are to:[3]

  • Strive for a high degree of autonomy in Hong Kong under Chinese sovereignty and to implement the "one country, two systems" principle;
  • Advocate democracy, fight for full implementation of direct elections for the Legislative Council, safeguard basic human rights and freedoms of Hong Kong people and preserve Hong Kong's judicial independence;
  • Maintain Hong Kong's prosperity and stability and promote economic development in Hong Kong; and
  • Distribute social resources fairly, improving the quality of life of the less well-off.

Within the pro-democracy camp, the ADPL is usually considered more moderate. Besides demanding universal suffrage, it places a greater emphasis on livelihood issues and has supported an increase in profits and salaries taxes while opposing sales tax, a stance more favourable to lower income groups. The party also called for an increase in education and coverage of medical expenses.


Founding[citation needed]

The ADPL was founded on 26 October 1986 as a political organisation by a group of incumbent Urban Councillors, District Board members, members from mainly four grassroots organisations and professionals, the Association for Democracy and Justice, the Society for Social Research, the New Hong Kong Society, the Hong Kong People's Council on Public Housing Policy, the Septentrio Academy and the Sham Shui Po Residents Livelihood Concern Group. The founding chairman was Ding Lik-kiu and vice-chairmen were Frederick Fung Kin-kee and Lee Wing-tat.

Late colonial period

Initially, the ADPL engaged in the electoral reform debate, advocating direct election of the legislature in 1988. It supported the liberal proposals put forward by the Group of 190 coalition. The ADPL was one of the three major pro-democracy groups and performed fairly well in the local and municipal elections the 1980s with its strategic allies the Meeting Point and the Hong Kong Affairs Society. At its peak, it had 140 members, 28 District Board members, one Legislative Councillor, 5 municipal councillors.

In 1990, some members of the ADPL (such as Lee Wing-tat and Albert Chan Wai-yip) joined the United Democrats of Hong Kong, which later became the Democratic Party. The ADPL continued to keep its own identity, arguing that it represented grassroots interests whereas the United Democrats were more focused on the middle class.[4] However, as many members joined the new party, the ADPL's membership dropped significantly to only 70 members, 15 District Board members and 2 municipal councillors.

As the ADPL chairman Frederick Fung was elected to the Legislative Council in the 1991 direct election and other members were elected to municipal councils, the ADPL regained its stability and matured from a political organisation to a political party in 1992.[5] It won one seat in the first direct election of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong (LegCo) in 1991 when Fung was elected. In the 1995 election, the party won four seats. At the time, due to near-parity of representation between the pro-Beijing and pro-democracy camps in Legco, the stance of the moderate ADPL was influential and often pivotal on controversial issues.

On the issue of the establishment of the Provisional Legislative Council, the ADPL initially opposed but then agreed to join the interim body. This led to a group of 16 members leaving to form the Social Democratic Front.[6] ADPL became the only pro-democracy party in the legislature immediately after the establishment of the HKSAR, keeping four members in the interim body. ADPL members also served on the Preparatory Committee for the establishment of the HKSAR.

Since 1997

The ADPL lost all its seats in the 1998 Legco election. In the 2000 election, long-time chairman Frederick Fung recovered his directly elected seat in Legco for the ADPL.

At the district level, ADPL traditionally enjoyed a concentration of support in the Sham Shui Po District, with another base in Tuen Mun District, as well as numerous seats across other district councils. The party suffered a defeat in the 2007 District Council election which led to Fung's resignation and he was replaced by Bruce Liu Sing-lee.

The ADPL supported the controversial electoral reform package which created five seats in the District Council (Second) functional constituencies which are nominated by District Councillors and elected by all registered voters. In a pan-democrat primary, Fung contested candidacy for the 2012 Chief Executive election but was defeated by the Democratic Party's Albert Ho. He was subsequently re-elected in the new constituency in the 2012 Legco election. Tam Kwok-kiu, however, failed to succeed Fung in the Kowloon West, the ADPL's stronghold, its first loss there since 1998.

In the 2015 District Council election, the ADPL won 18 seats while veteran Frederick Fung lost his seat in Lai Kok to Chan Wing-yan of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) and Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (FTU). Former party member Eric Wong Chung-ki also contested the constituency. On 23 January 2016, Rosanda Mok Ka-han, former vice chairman of the party, was elected the first female chairperson in the party's history.

Electoral performance[citation needed]

Legislative Council elections

Election Number of
popular votes
 % of
popular votes
Total seats +/− Position
1991 60,770 4.44 1 0
1 / 60
0 5thIncrease
1995 87,072Increase 9.50Increase 2 1 1
4 / 60
3Increase 4thDecrease
1998 59,034Decrease 3.99Decrease 0 0 0
0 / 60
2000 62,717Increase 4.75Increase 1 0 1
1 / 60
1Increase 7thIncrease
2004 74,671Increase 4.18Decrease 1 0
1 / 60
0 6thIncrease
2008 42,211Decrease 2.79Decrease 1 0
1 / 60
0 7thIncrease
2012 30,634Decrease 1.69Decrease 0 1
1 / 70
0 10thDecrease

Note: Each voter got two votes in the 1991 Election.

Municipal elections

Election Number of
popular votes
 % of
popular votes
elected seats
1989 21,243 9.99
2 / 15
2 / 12
4 / 27
1991 21,033Decrease 5.37Decrease
2 / 15
0 / 12
2 / 27
1995 38,918Increase 6.98Increase
5 / 32
3 / 27
8 / 59

District Council elections

Election Number of
popular votes
 % of
popular votes
elected seats
1988 65,338 10.25
27 / 264
1991 27,979Decrease 5.26Decrease
15 / 272
1994 47,740Increase 6.95Increase
29 / 346
1999 38,119Decrease 4.70Decrease
19 / 390
2003 53,264Increase 5.07Increase
25 / 400
2007 52,386Increase 4.60Decrease
17 / 405
2011 45,453Decrease 3.85Decrease
15 / 412
2015 55,275Increase 3.82Decrease
18 / 431

Leadership[citation needed]


Vice Chairpersons


  1. Davies, Stephen; Roberts, Elfed (1990). Political Dictionary for Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Macmillan Publishers (HK) Ltd. 
  2. Chinese: 香港民主民生協進會 or 民協.
  3. 基本資料. Hong Kong Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood (in Chinese). 
  4. Allen, Jamie (1997). Seeing Red: China's Uncompromising Takeover of Hong Kong. Taylor & Francis. p. 169. ISBN 9810080832. 
  5. Chiu, Stephen Wing Kai; Lui, Tai Lok (2000). The Dynamics of Social Movements in Hong Kong: Real and Financial Linkages and the Prospects for Currency Union. Hong Kong University Press. p. 42. 
  6. Allen, Jamie (1997). Seeing Red: China's Uncompromising Takeover of Hong Kong. Taylor & Francis. p. 176. 

External links