Date
11 December 2016
Woo Kwok-hing (inset) is the first declared candidate for chief executive, according to reports. He is scheduled to present his platform on Thursday. Photos: HKEJ
Woo Kwok-hing (inset) is the first declared candidate for chief executive, according to reports. He is scheduled to present his platform on Thursday. Photos: HKEJ

Ex-judge set to become first candidate for chief executive

A retired judge has decided to run in next year’s chief executive election but how much support he can muster remains to be seen, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Woo Kwok-hing, 70, is a former vice-president of the Court of Appeal of the High Court and retired as commissioner of the Interception of Communications and Surveillance Panel of Judges in 2012.

He is also a former chairman of the Electoral Affairs Commission.

Woo is calling a press conference on Thursday to announce his platform

On Wednesday, Woo told journalists his decision has the support of his family.

Woo has held meetings recently with political stalwarts including former Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang, Democratic party lawmakers James To and Helena Wong and Labor Party leader Lee Cheuk-yan and deputy secretary general Cyd Ho.

He is due to meet leaders of the Liberty Party on Thursday.

To declined to comment when asked if he would support Woo, saying only that being a good person is not enough because political ideas are equally important.

Calling Woo’s decision a surprise, Hong Kong Bar Association chairwoman Winnie Tam said safeguarding rule of law has always been what all judges and lawyers should do.

Regina Ip, chairwoman of the pro-Beijing New People’s Party, who is widely seen as a potential candidate, said Woo is a highly respected person and she hopes to see a fair competition.

Former lawmaker Ronny Tong, a barrister by profession, said Woo might have decided to step forward to help heal divisions in Hong Kong society.

The chief executive election is scheduled for March 26 next year. The winner will be chosen by a 1,200-member election committee.

Separately, news website hk01.com reports that Financial Secretary John Tsang, another potential candidate, sent a letter to the top echelon of the Chinese government last week, expressing his wish to resign to focus on his purported candidacy.

Tsang’s office declined to comment on the report.

[Chinese version 中文版]

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