A lawmaker of the pro-Beijing DAB has dismissed claims that his party’s chief executive race electors would not nominate anyone.

A front page report carried by Metro Daily on Thursday cited the “DAB leadership” as saying that the party is strongly inclined not to nominate anyone to enter the city’s leadership race. In the last election in 2012, non-leadership DAB electors were able to nominate whomever they wished.

The source told the paper that it was to avoid a split within the party and to avoid speculation that the party wished to send a message to Beijing through the nominations.

Horace Cheung. File photo: Stanley Leung/HKFP.

But lawmaker Horace Cheung Kwok-kwan said on a Commercial Radio programme on Thursday that the party’s central committee has yet to discuss the nomination issue and would not express any position.

“There is no point in saying that we are nominating A, and that we would not nominate B, C or D – if so, how do we fight for them to implement our policy views?” he said.

Cheung added that he expected the party will discuss the issue, as it is a huge political event.

“The DAB has many members on the election committee, it’s unreasonable if we do not nominate anyone,” Cheung said, adding that it would be unheard of not to nominate anyone.

The nomination period will be between February 14 and March 1. Election day is on March 26, when a small-circle committee will select the city’s next leader.

Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam. File Photo: Chantal Yuen/HKFP.

Retired judge Woo Kwok-hing and lawmaker Regina Ip have announced their wish to run.

Financial Secretary John Tsang has tendered his resignation but has yet to be approved by Beijing. Chief Secretary Carrie Lam was also tipped to run.

In a recent poll commissioned by Ming Pao and conducted by the University of Hong Kong’s Public Opinion Programme, Lam was rated highest by interviewees who said they hold pro-establishment views. Tsang was the highest rated overall.

In response, Horace Cheung said he believed it was because Lam was involved in a wide range of policies as chief secretary, compared to the financial chief’s narrower field. He said Lam received more exposure in the media and therefore has a higher rate of support.

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.