• Thu
  • Dec 25, 2014
  • Updated: 3:46am
NewsHong Kong

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor rules out bid for chief executive in 2017

She's heading electoral reform consultation, but chief secretary says she has no interest in standing for chief executive at the 2017 poll

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 January, 2014, 5:33am
UPDATED : Sunday, 26 January, 2014, 5:33am

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has made clear that she has no interest in running for the city's top job in 2017.

While senior figures in both the main political camps have been talking about her suitability for the role of chief executive, Lam says she is expecting something else in some three years' time - retirement.

"I don't think I have the ability to run. I have never had any experience of elections and I don't have any political ambition," she told ATV current affairs programme Newsline.

Lam, who is spearheading the government's electoral reform consultation work for the 2017 chief executive election, said she would not be joining the game which she helps set up. "By that time I will be looking forward to a happy retirement," said Lam.

The government No2's most emphatic statement yet on the matter comes after politicians from both the Beijing-loyalist and pan-democratic camps paid her a barrage of compliments.

On January 11, Ng Hon-mun, a former National People's Congress deputy, named Lam in a newspaper article alongside New People's Party lawmaker Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee and pan-democratic legislator Emily Lau Wai-hing as front runners for the 2017 chief executive election. In the article in Chinese -language daily Ming Pao portraying a hypothetical election "with three female candidates", the Beijing loyalist praised Lam's "high popularity and rich political experience".

"She will stand a good chance if she runs for the chief executive [job]," Ng wrote.

Less than a week later, the chief secretary's predecessor Anson Chan Fang On-sang, now convenor of pro-universal suffrage group Hong Kong 2020, called Lam an "appropriate candidate".

Legco president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing added to the praise: "She is capable and with a heart [of serving Hong Kong]. She would win the support of many if she is willing to enter the race."

Lam was evasive when asked about their remarks, saying: "That was too complimentary. My priority is to finish the consultation on political reform."

According to various opinion polls, the chief secretary is more popular than her boss, incumbent chief executive Leung Chun-ying. The latest University of Hong Kong poll - conducted early this month - had Lam's popularity rating at 62 points out of 100, while Leung's was 45.6.

Leung famously claimed in 1996 that he would not run for the top job "for N elections", but N proved to be a finite number. In September 2011 Leung announced his interest in the job.


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This article is now closed to comments

Don’t be silly to expect her to say she is interested to be the next CE now. This would invite tones of criticisms on every move she makes especially being in charge of the electoral reform consultation. In fact, one can’t rule out the ‘praises’ are all good intentioned – precisely setting traps for her consultation work to fail. Lam knows it too.
I am quite dismay that Hong Kong people is so greedy politically. The CE seat for the current one is just warming up, and then people are already thinking the second highest would be occupying that seat. I fail to match such frame of mind excised so shortly after a President and Vice President are in the White House in the US. Not very good if it does for the political stability for the nation.
So shut up in poisoning our political well.
I wouldn't vote for her....oh wait...we can't vote...
I would want someone who can be as tough as CS, Ms. Lam to become the CE in 2017. She dares to confront with the TUHAO of Hong Kong. If CY Leung could also be equally tough as Ms. Lam when dealing with the **** people in NT and persuade them that Ding house policy should be abolished, I will also be wholeheartedly support him to run for the office in 2017. We need a brave and strong leader in pathing Hong Kong a fair and sustainable foundation to move forward.


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