Tsang faced with mission impossible, says FTU chief

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 February, 2012, 12:00am


Legislative Council president Tsang Yok-sing is unlikely to enter the chief executive race as there is too little time for him to come up with a feasible platform, a Beijing loyalist says.

Federation of Trade Unions president Cheng Yiu-tong said despite Tsang's capability and experience, it was unrealistic for him to engage with various sectors of the community and members of the Election Committee before the nomination period closes on February 29.

His comments came just before Tsang said he would make a final decision next week.

'Tsang has yet to come up with an election platform. It takes time for a candidate to explain his vision for governing Hong Kong and discuss it with Election Committee members,' Cheng said yesterday.

'Operationally, it's impossible for Tsang to do so in such a short period. I don't take his intention to run seriously,' said Cheng, who is also an executive councillor.

Tsang, founding chairman of what was the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong, said on Friday he was seriously considering running after a 'dramatic turn' in the race, obviously referring to the escalating scandal of Henry Tang Ying-yen's illegal additions to one of his homes.

But Cheng said it was impractical for Tsang, who ruled himself out of the running last year, to make a U-turn at such a late stage.

'It took more than two years for Leung Chun-ying to improve his image and boost his popularity,' Cheng said of Tang's main rival for the top job.

Cheng said that since Tsang had still to make up his mind, he would not ask federation members on the Election Committee to suspend their nominations of Tang and Leung.

The federation decided yesterday to give its 60 members on the 1,200-member panel selecting the next chief executive a free choice.

Tsang said yesterday he needed more time for a thorough assessment of a bid for the top job.

'I need more time to tidy up my thoughts on some serious questions and continue to gauge views from my friends,' he said.

'I also need to clarify with Legco the arrangements if I resign from the post of president.'

Tsang said his decision would also be guided on his ideas for implementing universal suffrage.

'I have had my own thoughts about how to implement universal suffrage in Hong Kong. But I cannot see the existing candidates putting forth what I think are the ideals in their political platforms,' he said.

Both Tang and Leung have refused to give concrete proposals for implementing universal suffrage in 2017 for the chief executive vote and 2020 for the Legco elections.

Tsang added that the people urging him to run included 'people who had previously supported Tang and Leung'.