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Thursday, December 15, 2016, 00:34

Retired judge announces campaign platform

By Li Yinze

HONG KONG - Retired judge and Chief Executive (CE) election contestant Woo Kwok-hing said on Wednesday he will prioritize addressing the electoral reform deadlock if he is elected next March.

Woo, 70, was the first person to announce his political platform among the contenders for the city's top job.

To resolve the electoral reform controversy, Woo promised to transform the 1,200-member Election Committee, which elects the CE, into a Nominating Committee and increase the number of eligible voters from 250,000 to 1 million.

The tally should gradually increase in the next two terms of the government to over 3 million to cover all eligible voters, Woo added.

He noted he will not push for national security legislation before there is a consensus over the electoral reform plan.

Meanwhile, he vowed to resolve Hong Kong's long-lasting housing issue by developing brownfield sites – land for industrial use in the New Territories – and earmarking land for first-time property buyers.

On education, he said he will put more resources into science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in primary and secondary schools and will abolish the Territory-wide System Assessment (TSA) for Primary 3 students, which has been controversial for putting extra pressure on youngsters.

He also pledged to write standard working hours into law and realize a universal pension scheme.

As the incumbent CE Leung Chun-ying said last Friday that he will not seek re-election as the next CE due to family reasons, competition is seen to be fiercer.

The city’s Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah resigned from his post three days after that, saying he would consider thoroughly whether or not to run for the city’s top post.

Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said she would reconsider the possibility of announcing her bid to become the next CE due to the “dramatic changes” brought by Leung’s decision.

Legislator and Chairwoman of the New People's Party Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee also announced she will join the race Wednesday evening and will officially release her manifesto today (Thursday).

A CE candidate needs 150 nominations from the Election Committee to qualify and 601 votes to win.
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