Chief Secretary Carrie Lam has announced her candidacy for Hong Kong chief executive, saying she wants to be chosen as the city’s leader through a fair and just election, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
“I have deep love for this city and I am concerned about the well-being of its more than seven million people,” Lam told a press conference on Monday, explaining why she is running for the top job.
Lam had once said she would retire after her term ends this year but she changed her mind after Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying announced he would not seek a second term.
Lam’s announcement came after Beijing approved her resignation and that of Financial Secretary John Tsang.
Tsang is expected to formally announce his candidacy soon.
Lam said she had sought opinions from senior officials in Beijing about her decision but added that should not be seen as seeking an “appointment”.
Lam reiterated that she would not have run if Leung had decided to seek reelection, saying she would have preferred to spend her retirement with her family.
She said she considers it necessary to “continue the good policies” of Leung.
Also, there are many issues on housing and land supply that need to be resolved, she said.
Asked about criticism that she is “CY 2.0″, Lam said people should not judge her based on the performance of the current government, which is not perfect.
She said her goal is to achieve good governance built on public participation, rule of law, social consensus, adequate responsibility and accountability.
As for legislation of Article 23 of the Basic Law, which deals with national security, and the relaunch of political reform, Lam said the government should deal with them properly and in a timely manner.
Lam said she is a non-socialist and totally supports a free economy, adding that capitalism is the best model for Hong Kong.
However, she said the government is still responsible for narrowing the gap between rich and poor.
New People’s Party chairwoman Regina Ip, who launched her own bid last month, said she welcomes any competitor with a clear platform.
Former chief secretary Henry Tang, a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, described Lam as an enthusiastic, capable and experienced candidate.
Meanwhile, Tsang said in a statement Monday that he has been seriously considering joining the race since he submitted his resignation last month.
He said he will hold a press conference to announce his decision soon.
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