Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has said the government will take different popularity polls into account after he was asked about the latest survey suggesting that he is the least popular among all potential candidates for next year’s leadership election.
Compared to last month, Leung’s popularity rate increased by 6.1 per cent but was he was still in last place after five other politicians, according to a poll published Tuesday by the University of Hong Kong’s Public Opinion Programme. It was commissioned by Chinese-language newspaper Ming Pao.
Ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting on Tuesday morning, Leung said: “We will reference different polls. The most important thing as of now is to complete the work on our desks.”
Andrew Fung Wai-kwong, Leung’s information coordinator, wrote in a newspaper column on Monday that many people wished to have photos with Leung when he visited markets, schools and shelters, and thus cannot be unpopular.
He also criticised the NowTV channel, without naming it specifically, for launching a TV segment which tracks how many “angry” emoji Leung amasses on social media: “The channel does not want to admit the reality that Chief Executive Leung works hard in visiting local districts and has been welcomed by residents.”
Leung has yet to officially announce whether he will run for a second term.
The High Court is to hand down a judgment in the case surrounding the oath controversy of two localist Youngspiration lawmakers on Tuesday afternoon. It came after the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress issued an interpretation of the Basic Law over correct standard of taking oaths of office.
Leung said the approach of the government in handling the oath controversy was to act in accordance with law.
“After the court hands down the judgment over the Leung Chun-hang and Yau Wai-ching case, we will follow-up on issues in accordance with the judgment and the Basic Law interpretation, in accordance with law.”
Pro-Beijing figure Elsie Leung Oi-sie said on Monday that Article 23 – the ill-fated sedition law legislation – could be rolled out in stages and in different ordinances to achieve its full effect, instead of a full set of legislation in one go.
Leung said Hong Kong “shall enact laws on its own” in accordance with the article: “We have the responsibility to legislate, to block actions such as treason and secession.”
“Also, the term ‘on its own’ was there because at the time it was considered that Hong Kong would adopt national laws around this aspect, [but] we would not adopt national laws in Hong Kong, so we have to enact laws on our own,” he said.
“However, we do not have any news to announce regarding the legislation of Article 23,” he added.
Leung refused to comment on the rumour that Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said she wished to retire.