Starry Lee, leader of Hong Kong’s largest political party, has resigned from the Executive Council.
Veteran lawmaker Ip Kwok-him will replace her.
Lee, who heads the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), announced her resignation on Thursday morning and said it was accepted by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.
Lee said she had considered leaving Leung’s cabinet since her election to the DAB leadership last April to focus on her legislative work.
She said her resignation was made in consultation with Leung.
Leung thanked Lee for her “contribution to policymaking” during her nearly four years in the role.
The announcement came a day after the National People’s Congress ended in Beijing, fueling speculation the central authorities have a new arrangement for the pro-establishment camp in Hong Kong.
Asked to comment on reports she is planning to run in the 2017 chief executive election, Lee said the media is “over-speculating”.
On March 17, Lee told Metro Daily that the DAB has a “suitable” candidate for the chief executive election but added it was too soon for her to consider the matter.
She said the DAB will aim to maintain or increase its 13 Legco seats when elections are held in September.
On Wednesday, she told Commercial Radio she does not have to support Leung, widely considered to be eyeing reelection, if her party has its own candidate.
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