Monday, December 12, 2016

Leung Transplant

Hong Kong Chief Exec Leung Chun-Ying has had a hard year of Fishballs, Filibusterers, and Failure to please Beijing. Now it will go to someone else to return balance to the balancing act of HK governance

The problem remains, however, that Leung’s poor standing among both the public and business community was due as much to his following Beijing’s instructions as to the character and missteps of the man himself. 
Leung’s departure will for now remove some of the anti-government steam that has built up over the past two and a half years, as evidenced by the 2014 Umbrella movement and the September elections to the Legislative Council, where pro-democracy candidates increased their share of directly elected seats. 
The puzzle for Hong Kong now is the direction in which the Beijing-aligned hard-core pro-government camp will move.
Asia Sentinel

“Now that he won’t run, Hong Kong society may not be so split, it may benefit the restarting of the political reform – I am happy,” (Woo Kwok-Hing) said. “It’s a happy day today. I am happy for Hong Kong.” 
He said he has been meeting with people from different sectors and has been constantly learning. “I hope I can serve them if I am elected.”
Woo, a former chairman of the Electoral Affairs Commission, urged those who were entering the chief executive race to announce their candidacy as soon as possible. The election for the 1,200-member chief executive election committee – who will decide the city’s leader in March – will take place on Sunday. However, lawmaker Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee is only expected to announce her candidacy next Thursday.
HK Free Press

...a still coy Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah dropped yet another hint of his desire to contest, with sources indicating he was likely to resign from his post as early as Monday. 
Such a move could leave Beijing in a tight spot with not one but possibly three pro-establishment contenders in the race. If this did happen, a split of votes in the pro-establishment bloc could give the pan-democrats a bigger say in the outcome (...) 
City University political scientist Dr James Sung lap-kung said: “In Beijing’s eyes, Tsang is too close to the pan-democrats.“ And his participation in the race could affect the unity of the pro-establishment camp. He can choose to go ahead without Beijing’s blessing, but I’m not sure if his supporters in the business sector could dare to continue their support against Beijing’s will.”

It would be hard to find a more mournful public figure announcing she might reconsider her intention to retire and run for the top job after all. Watching (Carrie Lam) on television, I thought she was on the verge of tears. She said Leung Chun-ying’s shock announcement not to seek a second term had left her with no choice but to consider running. 
Poor woman, she thought she could retire and live happily ever after. Hong Kong politics just doesn’t allow such happy endings. It swallows people whole and spits them out mercilessly. “It is tragic that at this time in Hong Kong,” she said, referring to Leung’s decision, “serving the community and protecting your family cannot both coexist and that those in politics would have to make such a difficult ­decision.” aShe might as well be talking about herself. 
Her predicament is that there is no one as acceptable to both Beijing and Hong Kong people as Lam at this time. She might not be ideal but the rest are less than desirable.
Alex Lo, editorial in the SCMP

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