I won’t quit race to lead Hong Kong, Regina Ip vows, after Election Committee members switch support to Carrie Lam

Lawmaker says she is not worried and dismisses claim that four contenders would be ‘too many’

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 January, 2017, 5:56pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 January, 2017, 5:56pm

Chief executive contender Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said former chief secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s entry into the race had cost her the support of members of the Election Committee who pick Hong Kong’s next leader.

But she said on Monday that she would not quit or be swayed by anyone offering her a deal to pull out.

Speaking after a talk show with former Democratic Party lawmaker Emily Lau Wai-hing, Ip said some among the 1,194-member committee had done a U-turn after earlier pledging to nominate her.

“I don’t mind ... I am not worried about it as [changing one’s mind] is natural,” Ip said. “I just hope to have a fair and open election.”

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She stopped short of revealing how many electors had offered to back her and quoted a Taiwanese saying about the coattail effect of a popular candidate drawing away votes.

Beijing on Monday approved the resignations of Lam and Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah, who has not yet officially announced his election bid. Retired judge Woo Kwok-hing is also running.

A contender needs 150 votes from the committee to qualify for the main vote, and at least 601 to win.

Basic Law Committee vice-chairwoman Elsie Leung Oi-sie said on Saturday that four candidates may be “too many” and some should consider their chances as the election would be aborted if no candidate secured more than 600 votes in a second round. But Ip did not agree.

“It violates the meaning of an election by saying four candidates are too many while none of them had yet qualified for the main vote,” Ip said.

“There are actually problems with the mechanism of the 1,200-strong Election Committee. It is problematic when dividing votes as the pool is small.”

Asking if she felt confident facing such tough competition, she replied: “I will try my best.”