Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to leave office - GulfToday

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to leave office


Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam

Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam announced on Monday that she will step down in June ending a five-year term in office that saw democracy protests squashed and strict pandemic curbs plunge the business hub into international isolation.

Ending months of speculation, Lam confirmed she would not seek a second term when a committee made up of the city's political elite chooses a new leader next month.

"I will complete my five-year term as chief executive on June 30, and officially conclude my 42-year career in government," Lam told reporters.

Lam said China's leaders "understood and respected" her choice not to seek another term and that she wanted to spend more time with her family.


UN to release handbook of climate change solutions

Kazakhstan arrests spy planning attack on president

"I have to put my family members first, and they feel it is time for me to return home," she said.

A career bureaucrat, Lam became Hong Kong's first woman leader in 2017.

The 64-year-old had dodged questions for months over whether she would run again and during Monday's announcement she revealed that had informed Beijing of her plans to quit more than a year ago.

Hong Kongers currently have little clarity on who will be their next leader.

The chief executive position is not popularly elected, one of the core demands of years of democracy protests which have since been crushed.

Instead, the position is selected by a 1,500-strong pro-Beijing committee, the equivalent of 0.02 percent of the city's 7.4 million population.

The city's next leader will be chosen on May 8 but so far no one with a realistic prospect has publicly thrown their hat into the ring.

Agence France-Presse

Related articles