Donald Tsang

Civic Party prepares for TV face-off with Tsang

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 December, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 29 December, 2006, 12:00am

The Civic Party has begun preparing for a live televised debate between chief executive candidates and is looking for a suitable venue.

Lawmaker Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee said it was aiming big, with the Convention Centre a possibility.

Ms Ng said it should not be difficult to find an indoor venue able to hold an audience of at least 1,000 as well as facilities for the press.

She said she did not think Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, who is expected to be re-elected next March for a second term, would abstain from such an event. 'There's no point in winning the race, but losing the public's heart,' she said.

However, details about the venue and the nature of the forum or debate are yet to be finalised, and both Civic Party challenger Alan Leong Kah-kit and Ms Ng urged Mr Tsang to announce his candidacy as soon as possible.

Ms Ng suggested that if there was to be a debate, all candidates could agree on the rules and procedures beforehand, and if one was not possible, the venue could be used for a question-and-answer session between Mr Leong and Election Committee members.

Mr Leong said he was determined for there to be a head-to-head comparison of some sort. 'Even if it ended up just me being on one side of the road, shouting into a loudspeaker, and Mr Tsang on the other side, shouting into a loudspeaker, that's better than nothing.'

Political analyst James Sung Lap-kung said Mr Leong's tactic of preparing a debate was a 'win-win situation' for the lawmaker, an experienced barrister who speaks clearly and articulates his ideas well. Any refusal by the chief executive to attend a debate would reflect badly on him 'Mr Tsang would look as if he had something to hide if he did not attend,' Mr Sung said.

Ms Ng said they hoped to raise HK$500,000 from the campaign fund-raising walkathon on January 14, part of which would be used to pay for the venue.