Liberal Party head says he considered running for chief executive, but changed his mind Liberal Party chairman James Tien Pei-chun said yesterday he plans to step down as chairman of the biggest pro-business party in Hong Kong in 2008. Mr Tien, who is in Beijing for the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, also reiterated his support for Financial Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen to stand for the top post. But he said the party might need to consider its strategy more thoroughly in light of the possible resignation of Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa. Despite saying he planned to step down from the party's chairmanship, he did not directly address the issue of whether he would stand for direct election in the Legislative Council in 2008, saying the party leadership needed to discuss the issue this summer. He also said that while he had thought about running for the post of chief executive, he had dropped the idea. 'All along [I've said] I'm not interested in running [for chief executive],' he said. 'What capabilities and credentials do I have? 'There needs to be a pool of people working together on an issue. I think it's better to work for the Liberal Party. I've thought about it, but later I thought I'd better not. 'The party should have thought about finding someone to stand for the chief executive because under 'one country, two systems' and a 'high degree of autonomy', the chief executive is the person who governs the city,' he said. But Mr Tien said the short preparation time and the lack of cross-sector support at present made it unviable to put forward a chief executive candidate. He added the party might be able to do so after 2008 when it had more directly elected legislators and broader public support. As a political party, 'we don't always want to just act like an opposition party and know how to criticise', but the goal should be to become a ruling party one day. Mr Tien said when he stepped down as party chairman in 2008 he would have held the post for 10 years. 'When you work on something for more than 10 years, you don't feel as energetic as before.' He admitted that one issue facing the party was the gap between experienced and high-profile legislators and the party leadership, who would be in their 60s in 2008, and younger members who the public did not recognise. A dearth of talented politicians in their 40s and 50s was also a concern. Mr Tien said he had analysed the importance of party politics to the central government, which he criticised as failing to encourage the development of political parties. The party chief said they needed to consider a series of issues in the coming months, including how to prepare for the district council elections in 2007 and the Legislative Council election in 2008.