Chief executive candidates cannot rely on their popularity to win the nod of a nominating committee, according to some panel members.
Clifton Ko, who represents the culture subsector in the 1,200-member committee, made the comment after the government said candidates with high public approval ratings will be considered, Ming Pao Daily reported Monday.
The panel is made up of representatives from 38 subsectors including trade, professional, labor and welfare groups, as well as district organizations.
Under a proposed framework endorsed by Beijing, the panel is similar to a committee that elected Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in 2012.
Ko said he will not support a popular candidate who does not represent the interests of his sector, or someone whose advocacy is “too political”.
Any candidate who cannot present a coherent economic plan will have a hard time getting the committee’s approval, he said.
Hau Chi-keung, who represents the Heung Yee Kuk or rural sector, said he will oppose anyone who ignores his constituency, regardless of the candidate’s public approval rating.
And Scarlett Pong of the health services subsector said she would vote for a candidate who shows integrity.
Social work representative Tik Chi-yuen said public support is not enough to win nomination, adding a candidate’s capability is equally important.
However, he said the nomination process should ensure that voters have realistic choices.
Under a sweetened proposal, the public can recommend up to 10 candidates to the panel which will then prune the field to two or three.
Those two or three candidates will need to be endorsed by at least half of the committee to qualify for election by popular vote.
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