Carrie Lam says she won't seek re-election - RTHK
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Carrie Lam says she won't seek re-election

2022-04-04 HKT 11:10
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  • Carrie Lam says she won't seek re-election
Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced on Monday that she is not seeking re-election for a second term in office, citing family reasons for her decision.

In a press conference, Lam said she will complete her current term on June 30 and will retire, wrapping up more than 40 years of public service.

Lam said she had informed Beijing of her decision in March last year and the leaders "understood and respected" her wish.

She said the sole reason she is stepping down is because her family think "it's time for me to go home."

"This is not a question of evaluating my performance or the performance of the Hong Kong SAR Government in this term. This is a question of my personal wish and aspiration, and my personal wish and aspiration is entirely based on my family's consideration," she said.

"This is what I told the Central People's Government and they had expressed understanding."

Lam declined to comment on her performance since her election in 2017, saying it was not the occasion to share her feelings on this.

But she said her administration had faced what she described as "unprecedented challenges" the likes of which had not been seen since the handover, and she thanked the central government, her cabinet and civil servants for their support.

Lam said in the next three months her administration will ensure that the CE poll on May 8 is conducted smoothly; stabilise the local Covid-19 situation; conduct a series of activities to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the handover and ensure the change of administration is smooth.

She also declined to comment on reports that her number two official, John Lee, will throw his hat into the ring for CE, saying she hasn't received any resignation letters from senior officials.

Lau Siu Kai, a vice-president of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macau Studies, says Lam's decision was a "wise move”, noting the pandemic and the social unrest in 2019 had eroded her popularity.

“Even if she is elected, the low popularity and capacity to govern will make it quite difficult for her to meet the challenges Hong Kong will face in the years ahead, particularly given the turbulent International environment, the sanctions imposed on Hong Kong by the Western powers, as well as the accumulating cleavages within Hong Kong,” said Lau.

“Hong Kong in the next several years would need a strong leadership to promote the needed reforms in the institutions and policies in Hong Kong. So Carrie Lam’s departure will allow Beijing to have the opportunity to form a new team which will be more decisive.”

Lau also believes that it’s likely that only one person would get enough nominations from the Election Committee to take part in the CE race.

He said he doesn’t think Beijing will want to create confusion or sow division within the patriotic camp.

Last updated: 2022-04-04 HKT 19:01