Donald Tsang

Top official should stay mum on CE election: Fan

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 June, 2011, 12:00am


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Beijing's official overseeing Hong Kong affairs should not comment on the chief executive election during his first visit to the city which begins today, says the hotly tipped candidate for the top job, Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai.

Fan, a member of the National People's Congress Standing Committee and former Legislative Council president, said it was not the right time for Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office Director Wang Guangya to discuss the election.

'It is not appropriate for Wang to talk about the potential candidates,' Fan said. 'Especially when he is such a high-rank mainland official, any comments made by Wang would prompt people saying Beijing was interfering in Hong Kong's affairs.'

Fan herself has recently dropped strong hints that she is considering running for the top job next March. Last month, she reignited the Article 23 [of the Basic Law] debate - a move read by analysts that she was seeking the central government's blessing for her possible candidacy.

Fan hoped Wang's visit, which is likely to focus on livelihood issues, would lift the public's spirits following recent government scandals.

Arriving in Hong Kong today, Wang is expected to meet chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen and senior civil servants. He will have lunch with more than 40 lawmakers who either chair or are vice-chairs of the Legislative Council's panels and committees. Some legislators have urged Wang to meet the legislature en masse.

Wang will leave for Macau on Tuesday.