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‘Family is my first priority’ – Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says she will not seek another term

  • Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has announced her resignation.
  • No successor was announced.
  • John Lee will run a campaign to replace her, media suggest.

Hong Kong attacking leader Carrie Lam, who has run the global financial center through the unprecedented upheaval of anti-government protests and Covid-19, said Monday she will not seek another five-year term.

READ | Mortuaries are flooding as Hong Kong suffers a deadly Covid wave

Lam’s announcement came as media reported that Chief Secretary John Lee, Hong Kong’s second highest official, would step down to join the race to replace Lam in May as the next leader of the Chinese-ruled city.

“There is only one consideration and that is the family. I have told everyone before that family is my first priority,” Lam told a regular press briefing.

She added:

They think it’s time for me to go home.

She declined to comment on possible candidates to replace her, saying she had not decided on her future.

Lam, born in British-ruled Hong Kong in 1957 and a lifelong official who describes himself as a devout Catholic, took office in 2017 with a promise to unite a city that was increasingly resentful of Beijing’s tighter grip.

Indignant

Two years later, millions of pro-democracy activists took to the streets in sometimes violent anti-government protests. The unrest led Beijing to enact a comprehensive national security law in June 2020 that gave it more power than ever to shape life in Hong Kong.

An outraged Lamb said at the height of the 2019 unrest that if she had the election she would quit, adding in remarks to a group of business people that the CEO “should serve two gentlemen according to the constitution, that is the central people’s government and the people of Hong Kong “.

“The political leeway is very, very, very limited,” she added, according to an audio recording of her comments given to Reuters.

Lam said Monday she had proposed a government reshuffle to mainland authorities that would include new political departments, but it would be up to the city’s next leader to decide whether to continue the plan.

The city’s leaders have been selected by a small nomination committee piled with Beijing loyalists, so whoever becomes the next leader of the former British colony will do so with Beijing’s tacit approval.

Lee, 64, a security official during the protracted and often violent pro-democracy protests of 2019, was promoted in 2021 in a move that some analysts said signaled Beijing’s renewed focus on security rather than economics.

Lee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Other possible candidates mentioned in the media include the city’s finance secretary, Paul Chan, as well as former leader Leung Chun-ying. No one has published a bid yet.

Hong Kong returned from British to Chinese rule in 1997, guaranteeing far-reaching freedoms, including an independent judiciary and the right to a public assembly, for at least 50 years.

The United States sanctioned both Lam and Lee, among other officials, in 2020, saying they had undermined Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy from Beijing and curtailed political freedoms with the National Security Act, which penalizes offenses such as subversion and segregation with up to life imprisonment.

Carrie Lam announced that she would not seek another term as CEO of Hong Kong.

Chinese and Hong Kong authorities deny that individual rights are being eroded, saying the security law was necessary to restore the necessary stability for economic success after the protracted unrest.

The leadership election was pushed back from March to May 8 to give the government time to fight a Covid-19 outbreak that has infected more than a million of the 7.4 million people in the city.

Lamb’s term of office ends on June 30.

Since Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule, it has had four top leaders, all of whom struggled to balance the democratic and liberal aspirations of many citizens with the vision of China’s Communist Party leadership.


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‘Family is my first priority’ – Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says she will not seek another term

Source link ‘Family is my first priority’ – Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says she will not seek another term

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