Hong Kong leader declares candidacy

2012-02-20 16:00
Hong Kong - China's reported favourite to become the next leader of Hong Kong on Monday presented his candidacy for next month's election, ignoring his plunging popularity ratings and pressure to step aside.

Henry Tang submitted his nomination papers amid a blaze of media lights just days after revelations of an illegal underground den at his wife's upmarket house threw his campaign into disarray.

The scion of a wealthy family was widely believed to have Beijing's backing to replace outgoing leader Donald Tsang as Hong Kong's chief executive, until last week's scandal blew the race wide open.

Tang on Thursday admitted he knew about the illegal underground entertainment area in an upmarket home he shares with his wife, Lisa Kuo, but blamed her for ordering its construction without his permission.

"I admit there are many negative issues about me recently ... All of them are related to my family," he told reporters after formally presenting his nomination papers.

"I admit I didn't handle them well. I wanted to protect [my family] but it hurts them even more and people are questioning my credibility."

Confession

He said he expected more "negative news" and promised to face it "bravely", a possible reference to rumours published in the media on Monday that he had dated the young daughter of a local politician.

Tang's campaign started late last year with a public admission that he had cheated on Kuo, his wife of 27 years. He has also been criticised for avoiding debates with his opponents and delaying the release of his policy plans.

But the 59-year-old brushed off the criticism, saying he wanted to focus on his "experience, ideas and manifesto" rather than his personal problems and political missteps.

"I won't give up. I hope everyone will support me and give me a chance to serve Hong Kong," Tang added.

A University of Hong Kong opinion poll released on Sunday showed 51.3% of the 516 people surveyed thought Tang should abandon his campaign.

"All figures show that Tang's scandal has taken a big toll on his credibility, it may be unwise for him to stay in the race," poll director Robert Chung told the Sunday Morning Post, which commissioned the survey.

Second candidate

"There is no doubt that public anger is on the rise. I personally do not find any effective damage control taken by Tang, so I still think the worst is yet to come."

Tang was the second candidate to submit his nomination papers after Albert Ho, from the pro-democracy camp. Tang's main rival, Leung Chun-ying, the front-runner in opinion polls, has yet to nominate himself.

The nomination period ends on February 29.

Public opinion counts for little under Hong Kong's "One Country Two Systems" arrangement with mainland China, whereby the former British colony enjoys broad freedoms but does not get to choose its own leader by popular vote.

The chief executive is chosen by a 1 200-member electoral committee packed with pro-Beijing social and business elites.

- SAPA

Read more on:    hong kong
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Somerset West - 05:54 AM
    Road name: N2
    FLOODING at Victoria Street - expect delays
  • Friday Cape Town - 05:53 AM
    Road name: Wet Weather
    RAIN across the greater Cape Town area - drive with care and use headlights
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Medical Rep

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Cozens Recruitment Services (HEAD OFFICE)

Office Administrator

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Match Two Placements

Information Technology Officer (“IT Officer”) Atlantis

West Coast
West Coast Personnel
R350 000 - R370 000 Per Year

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia N9

The Nokia N9 has a beautiful one-piece, unibody design where...

From R2899.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be putting too much effort into someone or something. You are doing it out of love and compassion but there is a chance...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.