23 January 2019

Bernard Chan running for CE? Up to him, says father

Executive councilor Bernard Chan has stoked rumors about a potential run for chief executive in 2017 after giving an extensive interview about Hong Kong’s political development.

Chan’s father Robin, chairman of the family flagship Asia Financial Holdings, did not deny or confirm the speculation but said the decision is up to his son.

The elder Chan was responding to questions from the media on the sidelines of a visit to Beijing by a high-powered Hong Kong business delegation.

Bernard Chan, who also serves as president of Asia Financial, told Sing Tao Daily that real universal suffrage can be achieved one step at a time and said he hopes all legislators will support Beijing’s proposed political framework.

Chan said there is room for negotiation over the threshold for candidates to allow five to 10 pan-democrats to join the preliminary selection process.

That will ensure a competitive field, he said.

Also, the nominating committee could be made more representative by expanding the base including raising the membership from the insurance sector from several hundred to more than one thousand.

He said the key to political reform in Hong Kong is whether its citizens “truly see the good and the bad” in the election framework.

Being on the opposite side of Beijing and refusing to take the first step to political reform would only hurt Hong Kong people, he said.   

Chan has ruled out a leadership contest, saying his priority is the family business.

Earlier, Ming Pao reported that Chan suffers from heart problems that might be an issue in his political future.

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