It would not be a problem for both Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah and Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to run for the post of Chief Executive in 2017, according to Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing.

In an interview with Hong Kong Economic Times, Tsang said that since Leung and Henry Tang Ying-yen both worked for the government during the previous election in 2012, there is no impediment to Leung and John Tsang doing the same.

Tsang also said that he hoped  more than one candidate acceptable to the Chinese government would run, and that there are many such people in Hong Kong.

“Inevitably, a candidate that the Chinese government is willing to appoint must be someone who has an important position in the pro-establishment camp, and it cannot be a man who suddenly comes out from his sleep,” he said.

The LegCo chief was also asked whether a hardline candidate have an advantage due to Chinese president Xi Jinping’s increasingly tough stance. Tsang replied that effective is the key to implementing Xi’s policies in Hong Kong.

“If you take a tough stance but cannot achieve the objective in the end, this is not effective governance,” he said.

Tsang went on to say that he hoped candidates could resolve the question of whether to restart the political reform process, and also how to strive for the passing of a proposal that can meet Beijing’s bottom-line.

CY Leung and Henry Tang. Photo: Wikicommons.

Whereas the previous election was preoccupied with scandals, Tsang expressed hope that 2017 will focus candidates’ policy proposals instead, Chinese-language daily Ming Pao reported.

Tsang earlier said that Leung’s reelection would be “a good thing.”

Koel Chu

Koel Chu is a second-year journalism and fine arts student at the University of Hong Kong. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Koel is interested in the arts and urban design. She interned at China Radio International in Beijing and, at her university, she also works as Vice-President of Branding and Marketing in AIESEC, the largest youth-run organisation in the world.