Potential chief executive contender Jasper Tsang Yok-sing heaped praise yesterday on a possible rival, finance minister John Tsang Chun-wah, describing him as more qualified to lead the city. Just 24 hours after both men issued surprise announcements suggesting they could stand in next year’s election to become Hong Kong’s leader, the outgoing Legislative Council president said he was “pleased” the financial secretary might run. On Friday, the pro-establishment heavyweight said he would stand down from the race if a more qualified candidate emerged and despite the praise he heaped upon his namesake, Jasper Tsang maintained he still might throw his hat in the ring. Referring to John Tsang, he said: “He is definitely a more appropriate candidate than myself. His experience in the government and his knowledge in finance and economics is much richer than mine. “He has also worked for a long time in key positions in the government.’’ Double trouble for CY Leung? John Tsang announces possible bid for Hong Kong’s top job soon after Jasper Tsang does the same The former leader of Hong Kong’s biggest political party, the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, also thinks John Tsang has significant support. “I believe the central government has trust in him, he’s well known and has significant level of support,’’ he added. However, Jasper Tsang did not rule out his own bid , stressing that it was too early to be certain whether the financial secretary or any others would take part in the election. The outgoing Legco president said his current focus was on his Policy Research Institute think tank. He hopes its recommendations may form the platform of a chief executive candidate, whoever that might be. But Jasper Tsang also said he was not trying to persuade anyone to run in the election. Who stands to gain the most from Jasper Tsang and John Tsang entering Hong Kong’s chief executive race? “Whether it’s John Tsang or any other candidates, if they are interested in using our work as their platform, we would welcome that,” he said. While attending an event yesterday, John Tsang remained ambiguous when he was asked by the host whether it was true that he would run in the chief executive race. Dr Chung Kim-wah, a political scientist at Polytechnic University, said while both Jasper Tsang and John Tsang had made their intentions clear, it was still uncertain whether either of them would run for the top job in the end. “They are both testing the waters to see how others would react,” he said. “There are still many different factors in play.” Chung said both the outgoing Legco president and the financial secretary had their respective advantages. “It’s not necessary for a leader of the city to know absolutely everything, since the person’s main role is to lead a team,” he said. “Even Leung Chun-ying did not have much experience in financial and economic matters as he was only a surveyor.