Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says she will not seek a second term

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said it is her “personal wish and ambition” not to run for a second term in the upcoming elections. The decision is based on her family considerations, she said.

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Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam will not seek a second term in office, she said at a news conference Monday.

“This is not a matter of evaluating my performance or the performance of the Hong Kong SAR government in this term. This is a matter of my personal desire and ambition,” Lam said in response to a question as to why she would not agree. candidate for the upcoming presidential election.

She said her decision is “based entirely on” her family considerations. Lam is married and has two sons.

“This is what I have told the Central People’s Government and they have shown their understanding,” she said.

“So I take this first opportunity to inform the public through the media that I would not be running in the upcoming presidential election,” she added.

According to local media reports, citing anonymous sources, Hong Kong’s chief secretary, John Lee, is said to be about to step down to join the chief executive’s race, but Lam declined to comment. possible candidates in the upcoming elections.

The nomination period started on Sunday and the elections will take place on May 8. The election was previously postponed due to an increase in Covid cases in the Chinese city.

Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China governed under the “one country, two systems” framework. The city has limited electoral rights and a largely separate legal and economic system.

Chief executives are elected every five years and Lam’s tenure has been plagued by local and global crises.

In June 2019, Hong Kong experienced political turmoil as tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters took to the streets over a bill that would allow people in the city to be extradited to mainland China. The protests lasted for months and at times turned violent – with some calling for Lam’s resignation.

The bill was eventually withdrawn, but within months China passed a national security law for Hong Kong. Lam said at the time the bill was intended to ban secession, undermining of state power, terrorist activity and foreign interference, but critics — including the US and the UK — said it would undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy.

Lam also oversaw the city’s management of the Covid-19 pandemic, with Beijing taking a zero-Covid stance and trying to keep Hong Kong as an international financial center despite strict travel rules.

Lam served in public service for more than 36 years before becoming Hong Kong’s chief executive in 2017.

Before Monday’s announcement, she had avoided questions about whether she would run for a second term.

Speaking to Slice Mag’s Emily Tan in January 2021, she declined to answer when asked about a reelection bid. Instead, she said, “I’m just trying to comfort myself that very often women are left to do the hardest work. And I happen to be one of them.”