Chief executive candidate John Tsang said he and his team are still confident that he will win the election in the first round.

His rival Woo Kwok-hing said on a Metro Radio programme on Friday that if he loses in the first round of voting on March 26, he will urge his supporters to vote for John Tsang in the second round. He said he hoped Tsang will do the same for him.

John Tsang. Photo: John Tsang.

Tsang said he “has yet to consider [a scenario] that far away.”

“My team and I are still very confident that we can win in the first round,” he said at a weekly press briefing.

Tsang made his comments only nine days before voting day. His main rival Carrie Lam is seen as Beijing’s favourite.

Responding to reports of a possible Shenzhen visit by top Beijing official Sun Chunlan to secure support for Lam, and reports that the three electors from the Li Ka-shing family – the richest men in Hong Kong – will vote for Lam, Tsang said his task is to ask for support from electors and the public: “I respect everyone’s decision.”

Photo: HKFP/Kris Cheng.

“I am the only candidate who received support from the different parties in the political spectrum, I have the support of Hong Kong people – this is a big advantage in my view,” he said.

Tsang received 35 nominations from the pro-Beijing camp and 125 from the pro-democracy camp.

He said he attended two debates this week and he believed the public got to know him better through them.

John Tsang. Photo: John Tsang.

Supporters ‘warmed my heart’

Tsang visited the Dragon Centre shopping mall in Shum Shui Po on Thursday, where he was welcomed by shoppers.

“It warmed my heart. This event also showed that, unlike what some people said, my support does not only come from the internet,” he said.

At the Tuesday debate, Lam criticised him for only spending time on Facebook.

John Tsang. Photo: John Tsang.

“I will remind myself that I have the support and trust of the public – I am burdened by their expectations, I can’t let them down,” he said.

He lead Lam in polls conducted by several universities.

“Any person without the support of the public will not be able to govern easily,” he said.

The Mong Kok unrest, February 2016. Photo: Kris Cheng, HKFP.

Mong Kok clashes

The first three people convicted of rioting during last year’s Mong Kok clashes were sentenced to three years in prison on Friday.

Responding to the sentencing, Tsang said Hong Kong is a society of rule of law and he absolutely respects the court’s judgment.

He said the most important thing, should he be elected, is to avoid similar incidents happening again.

“[The chief executive] should not just think about how to deal with this incident that happened – these incidents should not have happened at all,” he said.


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.