Hong Kong names a new leader
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 26, 2017,
Mar 26, 2017, 22:16
A mainly pro-China committee has begun vote counting in an election for a new leader of Hong Kong to take the helm of the deeply divided city, which is fearful Beijing is curtailing its freedoms. She joins a select group of female leaders who have risen to the top job in Asia in recent years including Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, hugely distrusted by China, and ousted South Korean president Park Geun-hye, who angered Beijing with her plans to deploy a USA missile defence system to counter the threat from North Korea.
Outside the waterfront-facing Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, where members of the election committee had cast their ballots for two hours earlier that morning, protesters rallied against the decision and the fact that they did not have any votes in this election.
She dubbed "the fighter" by media, was once the most popular official in the cabinet of staunchly pro-Beijing incumbent chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, who in 2012 won a similar election restricted to just 1,200 voters.
"I extend my honest congratulations to Mrs. Carrie Lam (Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor) on her successful election and I will submit later today a report of the election results to the Central People's Government", he said. She would also visit the Beijing's liaison office as part of protocol, denying that it was any intention to befriend Beijing.
The early promise to Hong Kong was for "a high degree of autonomy" ultimately leading to democratic elections, along the principle of one person, one vote.
Hundreds of pro-democracy activists marched through the streets of Hong Kong on Saturday demanding universal suffrage.
Running for election, Lam said that the "one country, two systems" principle had ensured Hong Kong's prosperity and stability for nearly twenty years and she promised to strive for "a new peak".
Joshua Wong, Leader of student-led "Umbrella Movement" Theoretically, the chief executive is a bridge between the central government and the people of Hong Kong.
While Hong Kong's proximity to China has been a boon, bringing investment and spending, businesses have also faced growing competition from mainland firms in sectors like services and property.
"Hong Kong, our home, is suffering from quite a lot of divisiveness" she said. Carrie Lam, which is dubbed as "The Nanny" by the media and pan-democrats, is destined to win, having bagged 580 ballots already during the nominating round.
The former Hong Kong government chief secretary must try to mend the territory's deep political divisions, while laboring under the widespread perception that she was Beijing's handpicked candidate for the post.
A former chief secretary and deputy to current Chief Executive CY Leung, Lam will be the first female leader in the city's history. They insist that any problem with the election method is the fault of the pro-democracy camp.
Sunday's leadership election will be decided by a committee of only 1,194 electors. Hong Kong's pro-democracy camp controls about 325 seats, or a quarter of the body, and they voted as a block for Tsang. After she was declared the victor, protesters in front of the stage held up yellow umbrellas-a symbol of those who demand that the chief executive be chosen by the public. "This is what makes young people very afraid of the Chinese model of governance being imported into Hong Kong".
It's one day before a small electoral college chooses the city's new Chief Executive.
Lam has said she wants to focus instead on social issues, including housing.
Mr Woo served as a High Court judge for many years.
In January, a China-born tycoon was wheeled out of a luxury Hong Kong hotel in a wheelchair and then turned up in police custody across the border - an incident that reminded numerous 2016 abduction and detention of five Hong Kong booksellers.