Civic Party lawmaker Alan Leong Kah-kit yesterday announced he had secured 111 nominations for chief executive, making him the first democrat to qualify for a race only Beijing-approved candidates have contested until now. Flanked by supporters from the pan-democratic camp, Mr Leong declared that Hong Kong people were now 'one step closer to universal suffrage'. But incumbent Donald Tsang Yam-kuen is all but certain to win re-election, and critics who advocate shunning the election, including legislator 'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung, teased Mr Leong for 'turning a fake drama into a real performance'. Speaking at a rally in Chater Garden, a beaming Mr Leong said: 'This is a historic moment because, 10 years since the handover, this is the first time an elected legislator can formally challenge in an election an incumbent chief executive who is blessed by Beijing.' 'This is a moment that people of Hong Kong should be proud of. This is ... the fruit of their determination.' Mr Leong pledged that, if elected by the 800-strong Election Committee on March 25, he would be a visionary leader representing 'common citizens', whereas Mr Tsang was a 'bureaucratic administrator'. Mr Leong said his goal was to bring debate to a 'small-circle' election. He challenged Mr Tsang, who will announce his candidacy today, to enter debates so the public could back the leader whose platform matched their aspirations. Mr Tsang's election office may take up the challenge. Staff are considering whether Mr Tsang should attend a televised forum set for March 15. David Li Kwok-po, who heads Mr Tsang's campaign team, congratulated Mr Leong and welcomed the competition. Mr Leong, a barrister, said he would continue to seek support from Election Committee members but said he did not expect to pick up many more nominations. His strongholds of support are the legal, education and welfare sectors. The Civic Party legislator faced tough questions from some pan-democrats. Members of the League of Social Democrats chanted slogans condemning his participation in the poll, saying it had legitimised a 'small-circle' election. A smiling Mr Leong accepted a giant greeting card from Mr Leung that teased him for 'turning a fake drama into a real performance'. Emily Lau Wai-hing, of The Frontier, said pan-democrats should point out the election was 'a farce'.