Chief executive contender John Tsang has secured 160 nominations and has become the first to submit them out of the major four contenders.

He said on Friday that he may submit early next week but his office made a surprise announcement on Saturday morning that he would make a visit to the Electoral Affairs Commission office in Wan Chai. Tsang said he asked his team worked over time on Friday night to complete the clerical work.

With 160 nominations mostly from the pro-democracy camp, Tsang only passed the requirement of 150 nominations by a small margin.

John Tsang. Photo: RTHK screenshot.

But he refused to give a breakdown of nominations from the pro-democracy and the pro-Beijing camps.

“I have always said we should not draw a boundary in any matter, if you draw a line, then Hong Kong is in confrontation, this is not ideal,” Tsang said.

“It is also not appropriate for me to give a breakdown because the confirmation process [by the electoral office] is underway.”

John Tsang’s MTR ad.

He said he submitted ten more nominations in case some are invalidated.

The deadline for nominations is on March 1.

“I will continue to work hard. If we receive more before March 1, we will submit them,” he said.

But he said there was no need to submit many more than the 150 nominations required.

The nominations, according to election rules, will be made public after they are confirmed by the electoral office so that everyone can check the names of electors who nominated Tsang.

He will still need more than 601 votes in the secret ballot on March 26 to win.

Tsang also launched new ad campaign across the MTR system with three themes: trust, unity and hope.

He posted the unity campaign on Facebook saying it was a set of photos with the La Salle fencing team at his alma mater.

His major rival Carrie Lam, who was seen as the favourite of some Beijing officials, was thought to have secured at least 300 from the pro-Beijing camp, but unlikely any from the pro-democracy camp. She will submit her nominations next week.

Another contender Woo Kwok-hing said he has secured 104 nominations. Lawmaker Regina Ip received some 20 nominations according to reports.

Alan Leong, legal sector elector and former lawmaker, said John Tsang returned seven nominations from the legal sector since he already has enough, fulfilling a previous promise to do so. Because he returned the nominations, it was now “quite certain” that Woo Kwok-hing will also receive enough nominations from the pro-democracy camp, Leong said.

District Councillor Raymond Ho Man-kit, an advisor to Lam, was the first person to look at Tsang’s nomination forms at the Wan Chai electoral office. He said that he was not asked by Lam to come and he was interested at the forms in his personal capacity.

Lawmaker “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung has said he will not run in the race as it is unlikely he will meet his target of 38,000 nominations from the public. He received around 20,000.

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.