Former security minister Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong is likely to run in next month's election of local deputies to the National People's Congress, along with various business and community leaders.
Around 10 of the 36 local delegates are not expected to seek re-election. Eyeing those seats, professionals from various sectors - widely seen as Beijing loyalists - are showing interest in running for the national legislature.
A person close to Lee, 64 - who was secretary for security from 2003 to this June - said he was likely to put his name forward.
Lee's experience would be an asset in the job, said Chan Yung, chairman of the New Territories Association of Societies. "If he is elected, he could be of great help with the delegates' policy discussions. While serving as secretary, he specialised in cross-border issues like the traffic of parallel goods and the boom of babies born to mainland parents in Hong Kong."
Both Chan and Bunny Chan Chung-bun, of the Kowloon Federation of Associations, said they were considering running. Henry Choi, of the Hong Kong Island Federation, has already said he would run.
NPC officials will brief 1,621 local electors today on the details of the election, which will decide the 36 deputies representing Hong Kong in the NPC for the next five years.
The nomination period and polling day will be announced at the briefing. In 2008, nominations began two days after the briefing session. People close to the proceedings said the election would fall on December 19. Only adult Hongkongers of Chinese nationality, who are first nominated by at least 10 electors, are eligible to run.
Other potential candidates include Rock Chen Chung-nin, chairman of the Examinations and Assessment Authority. But a group of 10 educators co-signed an open letter on Monday, urging him to resign his position, fearing it could harm public perception of the authority's politically neutral stance.
Others who may run include Dr David Wong Yau-kar, former president of the Chinese Manufacturers' Association; chairman Ng Chau-pei of the Federation of Trade Unions; Dr Ian Chan Yau-nam, vice-chairman of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce; and Li Kuo-hsing, chairman of Mei Ah Entertainment.
The pan-democratic camp, for the first time since the handover, might decline to field any candidates.
Two of last year's four defeated pan-democrats, Frederick Fung Kin-kee and Mak Hoi-wah, have said they will not run given their chances of victory. NPC delegates not expected to run again include Yuen Mo, the convenor of Hong Kong deputies, Professor Ng Ching-fai, Fei Fih, Wong Kwok-kin, Ko Po-ling, Lo Suk-ching, Tso Wung-wai and Professor Leung Ping-chung.