No mutual trust between Carrie Lam and us, 24 Hong Kong pan-democrats claim in statement

Letter by camp comes as separate legal challenge is launched against former chief secretary’s candidacy

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 March, 2017, 9:56pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 March, 2017, 10:05pm

Leadership race front runner Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has ­defended her ability to communicate with different political parties after pan-democrats issued a statement saying they had “no basis of mutual trust” with the former chief secretary.

The statement was issued on Tuesday by 24 lawmakers, who declared they would not vote for Lam because they could not agree with her lack of respect for procedural justice and the opinions of others.

They warned that Lam, who is widely seen as Beijing’s preferred choice, would not only fail to mend the rift in the city but will make society even more divided if she wins the chief executive election.

On Monday, pan-democratic members on the Election Committee that will pick the city’s next leader also announced their backing of popular underdog and former finance minister John Tsang Chun-wah. The third candidate is retired judge Woo Kwok-hing.

I communicated with different political parties in Legco. I cannot see why the mutual trust is lost once I have left my [chief secretary] position
Carrie Lam, chief executive contender

Charles Mok, one of the lawmakers who signed Tuesday’s statement panning Lam, said the letter was directed at mainland officials.

He said: “We want to express our frustration at those who very much want to manipulate the election.

“We also want to tell Mrs Lam that she shouldn’t think she can easily win us over – she’s wrong to say we did not nominate her only for strategic reasons – we truly oppose her candidacy.”

Responding to the statement, Lam said she had worked as a bridge between the administration and the Legislative Council.

“I communicated with different political parties in Legco. The pan-democrats talked to me when they demanded changes in the agendas.

“I cannot see why the mutual trust is lost once I have left my [chief secretary] position,” she said.

Meanwhile, retired photojournalist Cheung Tak-wing on Tuesday mounted a judicial review to challenge Lam’s candidacy in the election this Sunday.

Cheung argued that Lam enjoyed a right of abode in the European Union through her husband’s British nationality, thereby breaching Article 48 of the Basic Law and section 13 of the Chief Executive Election Ordinance, which states that a person is only eligible if he or she does not have right of abode in any foreign country.

“She does not love the country, and does not love [Hong Kong],” he wrote to the High Court. “[She] does not uphold the Basic Law.”

Cheung demanded the court to declare a maladministration on the part of the Registration and Electoral Office, and to nullify Lam’s candidacy.

The office said on Tuesday that it did not find any basis to support challenges against Lam’s eligibility involving her nationality, after consulting the Department of Justice.