Former financial secretary John Tsang has submitted his nomination form for next month’s chief executive election, the first of the four candidates to do so, after securing more than 150 nominations, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Tsang applied to be an official candidate at the Registration and Electoral Office on Saturday, five days before the nomination periods ends on March 1.
He received 160 votes from the 1,194-member Election Committee, 10 more than the threshold for official nomination. The committee will pick Hong Kong’s next chief executive on March 26.
Nearly 80 percent of those votes came from the 300-plus pro-democracy members of the committee, with just 35 votes from pro-establishment members and others.
In a Facebook post on Sunday night, Tsang attached a photo of his campaign team with Lion Rock mountain in the background, and adopted the “spirit of Lion Rock”, which symbolizes Hong Kong’s can-do spirit, as a campaign theme.
Tam Yiu-chung, former chairman of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong and a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, China’s highest political advisory body, said Tsang is clearly a candidate of the pan-democratic camp.
He said he is not aware of any reports that Beijing will not appoint Tsang if he wins the election.
Meanwhile, retired judge Woo Kwok-hing claimed on Sunday that he has secured 156 nominations that qualify him to enter the race.
Regina Ip, leader of the pro-Beijing New People’s Party and a former security chief, is at risk of not winning enough nominations.
Radical lawmaker “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, who announced his intention to run for the election earlier this month, has decided to drop out of the competition.
It looks like the election will be a be a three-horse race, with former chief secretary Carrie Lam currently leading both Tsang and Woo in terms of support from the Election Committee members.
In a media interview, Ip said she might not be shortlisted due to insufficient support.
She declined to say whether Beijing has asked her to drop out. She said none of the platforms presented by the other three candidates is better than hers.
[Chinese version 中文版]
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