Liberal Party lawmaker James Tien Pei-chun has said that it may be “possible” for the pan-democrats and business sector to jointly elect a Chief Executive candidate in the coming election in 2017.

Tien’s words appeared in an article entitled “Anyone but CY?” recording a conversation with Civic Party lawmaker Alan Leong Kah-kit, for the pro-democracy party’s tenth anniversary special magazine. Tien and Leong discussed whether Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying should continue to be in office after his term finishes next year.

Leong said that pan-democrats have around 200 seats and the business sector has around 400 seats in the election committee, a total of 600 members out of 1,200 who have the power to select the Chief Executive. He asked Tien: “This is a crucial influence to the 2017 Chief Executive election, do you think the pro-democracy electors can work with the business sector electors, to support another candidate?”

Alan Leong and James Tien had a conversation about the Chief Executive election. Photo: Civic Party.

“I would answer it is possible,” Tien replied. “Leung Chun-ying is doing very badly as Chief Executive, anyone else in office would be better than him.”

“If they [business sector electors] hint to the central government that it should support a candidate who can make society more harmonious, and this candidate would receive support from pan-democratic electors, I think Beijing will listen,” Tien said.

He added that he believed the Beijing government has noticed that its drop in popularity in Hong Kong people’s mind, affected by Leung Chun-ying’s poor image.


Leong also asked Tien whether if the business sector would support Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah to run as Chief Executive.

Tien gave a positive answer: “He can communicate with the pan-democrats and the grass root people, if he becomes the bridge between the central government and Hong Kong, a bridge between the business sector and the people, Hong Kong will be much more harmonious.”

He added that Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has good image among Hong Kong people and the business sector, that were Lam and Tsang willing to run, government officials who wanted to leave may be willing to stay.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.