19 January 2019
James Tien says he forgot he was a CPPCC member when he urged Leung Chun-ying to consider resigning. Photo: Now TV
James Tien says he forgot he was a CPPCC member when he urged Leung Chun-ying to consider resigning. Photo: Now TV

James Tien expelled from CPPCC, to quit as Liberal Party leader

James Tien said on Wednesday he was resigning as Liberal Party leader to enable him to speak more freely to the public, after the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) announced his expulsion from the top political advisory body.

His dismissal as CPPCC member came after he urged Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to consider stepping down to help resolve the political crisis in Hong Kong.

Speaking to reporters, Tien explained why he asked the embattled Hong Kong leader to offer his resignation.

“The advice is only my opinion as there is serious disorder in Hong Kong and it would be hard for the current chief executive to rule Hong Kong and carry out the policies, so it might be better to ask a new one to communicate with the legislators,” he said.

Instead, it was Tien who got sacked as Hong Kong delegate to the CPPCC. He said he received the notice from CPPCC on Monday night.

“It was my mistake that I forgot about my identity as a CPPCC member [when I asked CY Leung to step down],” Tien said. “I respect and accept the decision of the CPPCC.”

In Beijing, Hong Kong businessman Chan Wing-kee, a member of the CPPCC Standing Committee, said chairman Yu Zhengsheng explained to members that Tien had violated CPPCC rules by failing to uphold a resolution the body passed in March expressing support for CY Leung and the Hong Kong government, RTHK reported.

Chan said the CPPCC chairman also stressed that members are allowed to criticize the Hong Kong leader in public, but only if the criticism is constructive, according to the report.

Tien said he would hand in his resignation during a meeting of the Liberal Party at 6 p.m. Wednesday “so that I can voice my opinion and speak for the Hong Kong people and carry out my job [as a legislator] in the coming two years”.

Former chief secretary Henry Tang, who is also a Hong Kong delegate to the political advisory body, said a CPPCC member should be honest and give constructive suggestions to the government, RTHK reported.

Tang, who lost to CY Leung in the 2012 chief executive election, said he hopes the Hong Kong government can resolve the political issue as soon as possible and not to allow the Occupy campaign to drag on.

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