Retired judge Woo Kwok-hing on Thursday formally announced his candidacy for the 2017 chief executive election, saying Hong Kong needs a leader who can heal the divisions in society.
In a statement, Woo said he decided to run for the top job to promote “harmony and stability” in the city and resolve socio-political conflicts, including those pertaining to ties with the mainland.
“I believe my experience as barrister and judge in the past 46 years has imparted in me a deep understanding of multiple aspects of Hong Kong society and culture. My integrity and neutrality has never been in doubt,” he said.
“My ability to uphold fairness, honed over the past decades, is a great asset that I can make use of at this juncture for the promotion of harmony and stability,” Woo said, according to RTHK.
The 70-year-old said he hopes to contribute to the building a consensus on political reform and reunite Hong Kong society which he said has become “too polarized and fragmented”.
Woo criticized Hong Kong’s incumbent leader Leung Chun-ying, saying the latter failed to “address public grievances and halt the division” in society.
The retired judge said he carries “no political baggage” and is hence in a strong position to “help assuage conflicts and dilemmas amongst different political parties and community groups.”
Woo described the future of political reform as Hong Kong’s most pressing problem.
He said he believes he is more capable than other potential election candidates in terms of being an effective bridge among the city’s people, and between Hong Kong and the mainland, RTHK reports.
Woo was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1987. He became a High Court judge in 1992 and was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2000.
In 2004, he became its vice-president before retiring from the judiciary in 2011.
Among other duties, Woo had also served as the chairman of the Electoral Affairs Commission.
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