Lawyer who would be chief

PUBLISHED : Friday, 31 May, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 31 May, 1996, 12:00am

Solicitor Paul Tse Wai-chun, who has put himself forward as a candidate for chief executive, does not meet the basic criteria for the post, it emerged yesterday.

Candidates have to be 40 or over, have no right of abode overseas and have lived in the territory continuously for at least 20 years.

Mr Tse is 37, has a full British passport, and left the territory for eight years to study.

But he said yesterday: 'I want to show that nothing is impossible.' He said that if Ronald Reagan could become US President, he could become chief executive.

'When Reagan was a film star no one thought that he would become the American president,' he said.

He said his age was not a problem.

'The calculation for somebody's age in Chinese is somewhat different from the Western calendar. My nominal age will be 40 by 1997,' he said.

Mr Tse said the Basic Law did not say whether the actual age or nominal age was important.

He thanked his partner, talk show host Pamela Pak Wan-kam, for her encouragement.

Asked why he had decided to go up against fellow solicitor Lo Tak-shing - the only other declared candidate - Mr Tse said: 'Mr Lo made it clear that he was interested and I admire him for that, and wanted to follow suit.' Describing himself as a baby in politics, he said: 'I am a plain white paper with no political affiliations. There is nothing for me to conceal or explain.' He encouraged other qualified people to speak up and indicate their interest.

He put his own chances of success at 50-50.

Mr Tse, a host on Metro Radio's Justice with Compassion programme, dismissed claims his move was simply to attract publicity and suggestions he would ask Ms Pak to campaign for the seat on his behalf.

Ms Pak was confident he understood more about the grass roots than other hopefuls, but added that Mr Tse's biggest weakness was that he was not cunning enough.

Mr Lo commented: 'It's a good thing that more people are jockeying for the post. The public will be given more choice.'