Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has refused to answer questions about the potential resignations of top officials in his administration. With the exception of Leung himself, government officials and members of the Executive Council who wish to run for the chief executive position will have to resign.
Executive Councillor Regina Ip was asked on Monday at a forum to confirm a rumour that she may resign from the Council on December 14 to run for the top job. She responded by saying that the question put her in a difficult position and she will make an announcement at an appropriate time. Other rumoured contenders are Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, Financial Secretary John Tsang, and Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority Norman Chan.
“Questions about resignations are hypothetical – I won’t answer hypothetical questions,” Leung said, responding to questions from reporters ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting.
He said that there was “no information today” when asked when he will announce his plans for re-election and the legislation of the anti-subversion law stipulated in Article 23 of the Basic Law.
He was also asked about the platform of Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong’s richest man, for running in the election committee that elects the Chief Executive. Li, who was automatically elected, said he will choose “a Chief Executive who is able to bring hope to Hong Kong people.”
Leung, in response, said “the government has the same vision as Hong Kong society to build Hong Kong in all aspects, develop the economy and improve livelihood, especially in resolving the issue of land and housing shortage that people care about very much.”
He said there was hope for this aspect, then listed out housing achievements during his term, including a 46 per cent increase in private housing flats – 93,000 units in the next three to four years – compared with the start of his term. He added that a high supply of private housing flats is expected in the next 18 months.
Retired judge Woo Kwok-hing is the only significant political figure who has announced his intention to run and arranged meetings with potential electors.
Leung will attend a cocktail reception at the Legislative Council on Tuesday evening, but most pro-democracy camp lawmakers will not be there. He was asked whether their absence will affect the relationship between the administration and the legislature and his re-election plans.
“Myself and my government colleagues attach importance to the relationship between the administration and the legislature, so we try to attend all LegCo events,” he said. “I have been inviting lawmakers to hear their opinions on the new policy address, and we invite lawmakers to some of our social events.”
“What the government and I can do is try to communicate with lawmakers at different occasions. As to the responses made by the lawmakers of some parties and camps, we cannot decide for them.”