Date
29 May 2017
Carrie Lam, John Tsang and Woo Kwok-hing (from left) appear at their second and final debate organized by the Election Committee before the March 26 chief executive election. Photo: RTHK
Carrie Lam, John Tsang and Woo Kwok-hing (from left) appear at their second and final debate organized by the Election Committee before the March 26 chief executive election. Photo: RTHK

John Tsang: Carrie Lam will have low legitimacy if elected

Former financial secretary John Tsang said Carrie Lam, his key rival in the race for Hong Kong’s top job, will be a “three-low” chief executive if she wins, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

During the second and final debate organized by the Election Committee before the March 26 chief executive election, Tsang said Lam will have “low popularity, low energy and low legitimacy” if she becomes the leader of Hong Kong.

He said his observations were based on several public opinion polls that show people who do not wish to see Lam become the next chief executive outnumber those who do.

A situation in which the chief executive has a negative rate of support from the public before assuming office will be unprecedented, and that means Hong Kong people will live in a tough environment for the next five years, Tsang said.

He said a chief executive will not be able to find the appropriate talent to assist him or her without extensive support from citizens and civil servants.

It is therefore impossible for the person to build a better Hong Kong, he said.

Tsang called himself the only one of the three candidates who has gained support from both the pan-democratic and pro-establishment camps, adding he knows how to work hard and work smart.

While Tsang has been leading in opinion polls, Lam is widely seen as the most likely winner because many believe she is Beijing’s preferred candidate.

Lam said the reason no pro-democracy members on the committee nominated her was a matter of strategy.

She said she will do her best to unite Hong Kong people, mend social divisions and establish a communication channel that involves multiple parties to seek consensus once she is elected.

Lam has been criticized for lacking the courage and commitment to win the support of those who oppose her after she said earlier this month that she would resign if the mainstream public opinion renders her unsuitable to serve as chief executive.

Retired judge Woo Kwok-hing criticized Lam for not being honest when she said she will heed public opinion.

Meanwhile, Lam apologized for her absence from a face-to-face meeting scheduled for Saturday with residents of Tin Shui Wai.

Lam blamed the problem on a tight schedule and poor communication with the organizer of the meeting.

After the debate, Lam told the media that she will spend the final week before the election meeting with as many Election Committee members as she can, adding all 1,194 votes by the Election Committee are equally important.

[Chinese version 中文版]

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