Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who is stepping down from Hong Kong’s top job in less than two weeks, said his biggest challenge in the last five years was to exercise patience during the 79-day Occupy Movement, including instructing the police force not to take action against the protesters, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Leung told Phoenix Satellite TV in an interview that police officers are trained to handle protests, and it was most difficult to convince law enforcers, from the top management down to the front-line officers, to agree with his decision and to allow more time for the government and the protesters to conduct dialogues.
However, a video clip surfaced on social media on Wednesday night of a television interview of Leung in 2014, or two weeks into the Occupy protests, in which he said any decision made by the police force during the protest, whether it be to fire tear gas at the protesters or not to use it, was based on the judgment of the police commander and no political decision was involved.
Commenting on Leung’s remarks, legislator Andrew Wan Siu-kin of the Democratic Party said the chief executive was contradicting himself by claiming he had exercised utmost patience in dealing with the protesters while police had used tear gas during the early stages of the protests.
Wan said what had happened in the streets contradicted what Leung was claiming, adding that the CE should release government documents to back up his statements.
In the Phoenix TV interview, Leung said he was disappointed when the political reform bill was not passed by the Legislative Council in 2015.
He said he does not expect to see the bill to be revived during Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s five-year term as the next chief executive.
Leung said he believes the pan-democrats would not change their stance of insisting on a public nomination for the chief executive.
He said Beijing has made it clear that any nomination must be made by the Nominating Committee before election by universal suffrage could take place.
Wan said whether or not the political reform bill would resurface in the next five years in none of Leung’s business as he will step down very soon.
The lawmaker also said pan-democrats have tabled other alternatives for the CE election.
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