Thursday, 12 January 2017

A Step Closer to the Hustings

Carrie Lam announced her resignation as Chief Secretary today
The leadership race for Hong Kong's next chief executive just got more interesting today with Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor resigning from her Chief Secretary post earlier in the day.

At 5pm she held a very short news conference where she said: "There is only one reason for me to resign at this juncture. That is, if my resignation is approved by the Central People's Government, I intend to prepare to contest the upcoming chief executive election."

She sounds pretty confident her resignation will be approved.

John Tsang's resignation has yet to be approved by Beijing
This contrasts starkly to former finance secretary John Tsang Chun-wah's status. He resigned on December 12 and it still hasn't been approved by Beijing yet. It's bizarre, but pundits believe the two former civil servants' resignations will be approved next Thursday, putting them both at the starting block at the same time.

However, it looks like Lam has a greater chance than Tsang of having Beijing's blessing because her resignation will have the appearance of being approved in a shorter time period.

Nevertheless, according to a recent poll conducted by Chinese University's Centre for Communication and Public Opinion Survey, Tsang seems more popular with younger and educated people, while Lam is a favourite among seniors and less educated. Lam's support rate was 10.2 percent among those aged 18-29 and 18.5 percent for those aged 30-44.

But when it comes to the middle-aged and elderly, she received 29.7 percent among those aged 45-49, and 29.7 percent from those 60 and older.

Regina Ip more popular with elderly and less educated
And by the way, the same could be said of Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, who gets little support from those with tertiary education.

Tsang got 42.5 percent of support from those who described themselves as pan-democrats, while 34.9 percent of localists backed Tsang.

Even former judge Woo Kwok-hing got 22 percent of pan-democratic supporters, and 20.5 percent of localists.

"The poll results show that Lam and Ip's backers are of the same kind and they are more pro-establishment, while the other three potential candidates look like they're backed by the pro-democracy," explained Professor Francis Lee Lap-fung of the Chinese University's Centre for Communication and Public Opinion survey, that conducted the telephone survey of 1,024 people.

It's a small selection of people, but still worth considering. But hey -- our opinion doesn't count so much when only 1,200 people get to decide who are next leader is...

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