Date
28 March 2017
Anson Chan has described the participation of senior government officials such as Carrie Lam (top, right) and Gregory So (bottom) in APD political group activities as "inappropriate". Photos: DBC, HK Govt
Anson Chan has described the participation of senior government officials such as Carrie Lam (top, right) and Gregory So (bottom) in APD political group activities as "inappropriate". Photos: DBC, HK Govt

Anson Chan hits out at officials for showing up at APD booths

Hong Kong’s former chief secretary Anson Chan has criticized senior officials of the Leung Chun-ying administration for showing up at street-side booths set up by the Alliance for Peace and Democracy (APD) to express support for the government’s political reform proposal.

Participation of top government officials in an activity launched by a political group is inappropriate, Chan said.

Her comments came after several senior officials, including Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, visited the booths set up by APD over the weekend to solicit support for the Beijing-backed plan for the 2017 chief executive election, Apple Daily reported.   

APD, a pro-Beijing political group, has launched a signature campaign among the public, aiming to put pressure on pro-democrat lawmakers to shed their resistance to the electoral reform plan.  

At least six top officials have pledged their support to APD’s promotions so far, including Commerce Secretary Gregory So, who put down his signature on Monday without informing members of the media.

Constitutional Affairs Secretary Raymond Tam and Health Secretary Ko Wing-man did not sign using their official titles, but the government news service still dispatched photos of them at the booths afterwards.

According to the code for officials, politically appointed officials should not sign up or solicit signatures from others to support any operations of the government.

When asked if officials had violated the code of practice, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said the code only prohibits officials from participating in activities against the government or its policies.

Executive Council convenor Lam Woon-kwong, meanwhile, has said that he has no plans to sign up at the APD street stations.

The signature campaign may not actually have a bearing on the passage of the political reform bill, he said. 

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