Morning Chronicle - Hong Kong leadership candidate says one-horse race 'not easy'

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Hong Kong leadership candidate says one-horse race 'not easy'
Hong Kong leadership candidate says one-horse race 'not easy' / Photo: Peter PARKS - AFP

Hong Kong leadership candidate says one-horse race 'not easy'

Hong Kong's former security chief said it was "not easy" to run as the only candidate to become the city's next leader, as he announced on Wednesday that he had secured enough nominations to enter the poll.

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John Lee, 64, is expected to be anointed the business hub's new chief executive by a committee of 1,500 Beijing loyalists next month.

Hong Kong media have widely reported that Lee will, at Beijing's request, face no rivals in the election.

Lee officially registered his candidacy with the city's election watchdog on Wednesday with 786 nominations from the committee.

That number surpasses the legal threshold needed for him to win the May 8 poll.

Asked by a reporter whether he faced an easier journey without rivals, Lee replied: "It is not easy because I have been working very hard to explain to various members what my election platform will be like."

Lee has yet to publicly release a manifesto or any concrete policies, although he said one was on the way.

"It has just been a few days since I announced to stand for the election. Writing the platform needs time," Lee said.

The nomination period closes on Saturday.

When announcing his bid last week, Lee gave three broad priorities for his government: being "results-orientated", enhancing Hong Kong's competitiveness and consolidating the city's further development.

He has since shuttled between various pro-government groups and held five online conferences with the Election Committee members to gather support.

"I think members agree with these three directions that is why they have given me the nomination but it is a hard effort," Lee said.

Chan King-cheung, former chief editor of the Hong Kong Economic Journal, wrote in a newspaper column on Wednesday that Lee should still explain to the public what his policies are, even though ordinary residents do not get to vote.

"To say 'result-oriented' without defining the result is so vague and empty that the 'voters' can't tell what promises he has actually made," Chan wrote.