Chief Executive hopeful Carrie Lam has denied making disparaging remarks about her rivals after she appeared to suggest that one or more of them would not be acceptable to Beijing.
Lam was quoted as saying behind closed doors that she decided to run in the chief executive election in March to prevent a “worst-case scenario” where the central government refuses to appoint the election winner, triggering a constitutional crisis, RTHK reports.
On Sunday, Lam said she had simply made a factual comment because the Basic Law does stipulate that Beijing has the final say on whether to appoint the candidate chosen by the 1,200-strong Election Committee.
The former Chief Secretary urged people to be more “understanding”, saying she had been a government official for more than 30 years and was still trying to get used to her change of role.
But Civic Party chairman Alan Leong said Lam’s earlier reported remarks were “very inappropriate” and were aimed at pulling votes away from rival John Tsang.
Asked whether he thought Lam had contradicted her previous statements that she wanted a fair election, Leong said chief executive contenders would do their campaign a disservice “if they say one thing but do another”.
Earlier, former Legislative Council president Tsang Yok-sing played down the significance of Lam’s reported comments, saying he thought they just reflected her very high level of self-confidence, according to RTHK.
Tsang said he believed Lam was simply stating her confidence that she would be appointed by Beijing should she win the election.
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