Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to leave office

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to leave office

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Carrie Lam waving after she won the Hong Kong chief executive election in Hong Kong on March 26, 2017. AFP

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to leave office

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced on Monday that she will not seek a second term in the race scheduled for May 8 to elect the city’s next leader.

At a media briefing, she said she had reported to the central government her intention not to run in the election and expressed gratitude for the central government’s trust in her.

Lam’s term will end at the end of June. Lam said that until then, she will focus on four areas of work, namely, holding the election for the next chief executive, fighting the fifth wave of the pandemic, planning celebrations of the city’s 25th anniversary of its return to China, and working on the transition of two administrations.

She thanked the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council and the four central government offices based in Hong Kong for making concerted efforts with her and the special administrative region in the past five years to fulfill the constitutional responsibilities of the city.

Lam also thanked her colleagues, including secretaries and bureau heads, civil servants, and her family, for their support.

The government has encountered unprecedented challenges and unparalleled dire situations compared with previous administrations, Lam said.

Lam said the government’s policies have continuity, and those policies supported by the public will continue to be implemented by the next administration.

Citing family reasons for her decision, Lam said she believes those who aspire to run for chief executive need to have the quality of being able to be held accountable to both the central government and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, as well as able to uphold “one country, two systems” and “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong” with a high degree of autonomy.

Lam also expressed confidence that her decision will not affect the government’s concerted anti-pandemic efforts.

The election was originally scheduled to be held on March 27. But due the severe pandemic situation, it was postponed on Feb 18 and rescheduled to be held on May 8.

The nomination period for the election began on Sunday and will run through April 16. As April 15 and 16 are both general holidays, the deadline for submitting the nomination form will be 5 pm local time on April 14, according to the Electoral Affairs Commission.

Hong Kongers and businesses based in the finance hub have little clarity on who will be the next leader at a time when Beijing is increasingly calling the shots directly.

The chief executive position is selected by a 1,500-strong pro-Beijing committee, the equivalent of 0.02 percent of the city’s 7.4 million population.

Lam’s successor will be chosen on May 8 but so far no one with a realistic prospect has publicly thrown their hat into the ring.

Hong Kong’s number-two official, John Lee, who has a background in the security services, has been tipped by local press as the most likely contender.

Another potential candidate is finance chief Paul Chan.

The new leader will take office on July 1, the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover by Britain to China.

CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, AFP

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • New int’l airport nearly half complete as travel industry returns to life

    Construction of a new airport that is slated to serve the capital has passed the 43 per cent completion mark, raising prospects for a proper recovery in the civil aviation and tourism sectors as international travellers return to the Kingdom in increasingly large numbers. The figure

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,