Why the pan-democrats have ensured that we will get another five years of CY Leung

The more they and the localists vilify CY, the more incentive there is for Beijing to impose him on Hong Kong for a second term

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 October, 2016, 12:41am
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 October, 2016, 12:41am

Let the guessing game begin. Ex-judge Woo Kwok-hing has jumped into the ring for the job of chief executive. Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee says she is interested, and Beijing will probably let her run.

Leung Chun-ying for sure wants a second term. The ever coy John Tsang Chun-wah, the financial secretary, will have to declare soon. That leaves Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, the former Legislative Council president, who will probably not run now.

He has dodged a bullet by quitting Legco just in time. Look at his successor, poor Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, who is in way over his head. Being the chief executive is a hundred times worse.

Since the pan-democratic opposition – aside from the Democratic Party – has essentially declared war on the government and Beijing, they would probably not be fielding a candidate like before. That would be seen as legitimising this “small circle” election.

The trouble is that the pan-democrats no longer have a high horse to jump on. We are again in this “small circle” predicament solely because of their intransigent opposition to the government’s political reform.

Opening shots fired as battle for Hong Kong’s top job finally gets under way

They wanted everything and ended up with nothing. They took the moral high ground and now we are back to square one. We will probably get another five years of CY. It really would not look so bad if 3.8 million Hong Kong voters had to choose from a candidate list of Woo, Ip, CY Leung and Tsang.

That’s what we would be thinking and arguing now if the reform – yes, it was far from perfect – had not been voted down by the pan-dems. For one thing, we could be pretty sure CY Leung would not be coming back for a second term. He might not even run at all. But thanks to the pan-dems, we are back to the 1,200-member election committee; and Leung gets another shot.

That’s why there is this drive for ABC – the “Anybody but CY” campaign. But who are they kidding? The pan-dems have turned out to be CY’s best friend. The more they and the localists vilify CY, the more incentive there is for Beijing to impose him on Hong Kong for another term.

That’s the central government’s way of replying to the local opposition, which is now extended to include separatism. Who is the most unpopular candidate on the list? My guess is, that person will win.