Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, leader of the pro-Beijing New People’s Party, said she has no plans to announce her decision on whether she will run for chief executive next year anytime soon but reiterated her interest in the race.
Speaking in a radio program hosted by Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing on Tuesday, Ip admitted that she has been preparing for the election, noting that she sees no need to be secretive about it or “say one thing but mean another” as some people do, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
She also brushed aside remarks by some critics who ridicule her for aspiring to become Hong Kong’s leader, saying being determined to do something is a good thing.
The chief executive election is scheduled for March 26 next year. The winner will be chosen by a 1,200-member election committee.
The New People’s Party told its members on Tuesday that a special meeting to discuss the upcoming election will be held on Dec. 14, or three days after the election committee’s members are selected.
It did not give a detailed agenda for the meeting.
Ip refrained from commenting on rumors that she will announce her candidacy at the meeting, but said she will make an announcement after the election committee members are announced and before Valentine’s Day, which falls on Feb. 14.
She said the fact that none of the chief executive hopefuls have resigned to be candidates suggests that Beijing has not handpicked its candidate yet.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who returned from the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference summit in Peru that closed on Sunday, told reporters that Chinese President Xi Jinping affirmed his work performance when they talked for 45 minutes on Monday.
While Leung asked media not to “over-interpret” Xi’s remarks, Ip said Leung’s meeting with the Chinese leader will not affect her plans for the election at all, adding that it’s normal for Leung to seek Beijing’s endorsement if he really intends to seek a second term.
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