World

HK chief executive contender unveils election platform

Chief Executive contender John Tsang has promised to make the contentious issues of political reform and a China-backed national security bill his priorities if he wins the top job next month.

Unveiling his election platform yesterday, the former Financial Secretary said it is for "society's stability and good governance" that he seeks to restart the process of political reform, to look at giving more Hong Kongers a say in electing the Chief Executive.

He vowed to enact Article 23 - which will ban acts of treason and subversion against the Chinese government.

Plans to pass the controversial bill drew half a million protesters to the streets in 2003 and led to the resignation of fellow Chief Executive contender Regina Ip, who was then the security chief.

The bill was eventually shelved.

Mr Tsang, 65, stressed that it was urgent to restart political reform and legislation of Article 23 before the current Legislative Council term ends in 2020.

His comments marked a turnabout from his remarks last month, when he said it would be irresponsible for the administration to restart political reform if the political climate in Hong Kong remains the same.

But he told reporters yesterday that his comments were not really different.

Analysts saw the U-turn as his bid to win the support of Beijing, with Chief Executive rival Carrie Lam widely seen as Beijing's choice for the job.

hong kongelectionChina