Tsang says such a move could see him in court for dereliction of duty Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen yesterday said he could face charges of dereliction of duty in court if he takes leave to work towards his re-election. Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Mr Tsang also defended his decision to visit his campaign office in a government car on Monday, citing security concerns. Mr Tsang, who plans to formally declare his candidacy next Thursday, was criticised by politicians and sections of the media yesterday for using government resources to run for his second term. They said he should take leave and use his own car for election-related trips. At the constitutional affairs panel meeting, lawmakers from the Democratic Party and its allies fired more salvos, accusing Mr Tsang of taking unfair advantages. Frustrated by the attacks, Mr Tsang said: 'It is understandable because I am the incumbent and I have all the resources. Anyone who stands against me will be seen as the victim ... But I am critically conscious of the legal restrictions. These are things I cannot win.' Citing an unnamed 'very reliable legal opinion', he said taking leave to campaign could 'amount to dereliction of duty' under the Basic Law. 'People will take me to court. There will be a judicial review on my decision to take a holiday and abdicate the work of chief executive. And then, if something like avian flu happens, I will have to stop everything and come back to work to deal with the crisis.' Mr Tsang argued that under the Basic Law, he could delegate his duties as chief executive 'if I'm not physically in Hong Kong'. If he was in Hong Kong, he could only delegate his duties to the chief secretary, unless he was incapable of performing them. Article 53 of the Basic Law says that if the chief executive is not able to discharge his duties for a short period, they will temporarily be assumed by the chief secretary, financial secretary or secretary for justice, in that order of precedence. On his use of the official car to visit his campaign office on Monday, Mr Tsang said: 'I have two cars doing nothing ... One is a decent one: a Mercedes. I'd love to make use of it for this trip. [But] there are security considerations. There are bodyguards who want to make sure nothing happens. There is special equipment in a government car. 'I cannot dispense of it as long as I am chief executive. That happens in all developed democracies in the world: the incumbent must carry on their job. You'll find Ronald Reagan did it, John Major did it, Margaret Thatcher did it, Tony Blair did it. 'They were carrying the advantages and disadvantages of being the incumbent ... But if there are some legal, constitutional reasons, what can I do?' Taking out two mobile phones, he said: 'This is my government phone. This is my electoral office phone. Everything is separate. The last thing I want is to cheat the electoral process. It will be a fair game. I have to conduct it with the advantage and disadvantage of incumbency. It's something I cannot help. I happen to be the chief executive.'