Popular executive councillor 'not interested' in running for top job

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 October, 2016, 5:52pm

An executive councillor who has been tipped as a possible candidate in the 2017 chief executive election says he is "not interested" in running for the top job.

Bernard Chan said it was tough to form a governing team given the current political climate.

Chan said in an interview with the South China Morning Post that the chief executive's job was not an easy one even if he or she had the mandate after universal suffrage was introduced.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has vowed to seek re-election in 2017 but some observers doubt his prospects of winning by universal suffrage unless he can boost his flagging popularity.

Chan, 48, is seen by some pro-establishment figures as a likely candidate to represent them in 2017 because of his good public image and communication skills.

Chan, the president of Asia Financial Holdings and a former lawmaker, also maintains good relations with various political forces, including the pan-democratic camp.

"My parents repeatedly reminded me my full-time job is here," he said, referring to his family business. Chan said he did not have the ability to perform the job of a chief executive.

"Even assuming I am willing to take up the job , where are you going to find a team?" he asked.

It's not easy. You can't do it on your own. How can you find more than a dozen people to form a governing team?

"It's not easy. You can't do it on your own. How can you find more than a dozen people to form a governing team?"

In 1996, Leung answered a question on whether he would run for chief executive by saying he would not run even in the "nth" chief executive election - in other words, never. But he declared his candidacy in 2011 and won the job in March last year.

Dr Li Pang-kwong, director of the public governance programme at Lingnan University, said Chan was qualified for the top job.