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Monday, March 27, 2017, 11:11

'Humbled' leader vows to begin new chapter in HK’s journey

By Joseph Li in Hong Kong
'Humbled' leader vows to begin new chapter in HK’s journey
Lam’s supporters, rallying outside the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, welcome the victory which sets her on course to become the city’s fi rst female leader. (PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)

When the returning officer announced the election result at around 1:30 pm on Sunday after just the first round of balloting, Hong Kong’s first elected woman leader was overcome with emotion as tears welled up in her eyes.

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor bowed several times before the audience and waved as her husband Lam Siu-por and elder son Jeremy Lam went on stage to offer her bouquets and showered her with congratulations.

Speaking in her capacity as Chief Executive-elect at a press conference, surrounded by her family members and campaign team members, Lam said she was humbled in the first place by her victory, and was ready to begin a new chapter in the journey of the people of Hong Kong.

She pledged to safeguard the “One Country, Two Systems” principle to the best of her ability and defend Hong Kong’s core values, including freedom of speech, the rule of law and an independent judiciary.

In previous positions, I tended to solve problems. As Chief Executive-elect, it will be my responsibility to identify the crux of problems and address them with a more macro approach

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Chief Executive-elect

She thanked her opponents John Tsang Chun-wah and Woo Kwok-hing, as well as Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, who dropped out of the race after failing to secure enough nominations, for having run good campaigns and taught her a lot. She also thanked her campaign team and frontline reporters for their tireless e  orts.

Lam recalled that, throughout the campaign, she had heard, learnt and experienced many new things from different angles. “In previous positions, I tended to solve problems. As Chief Executive-elect, it will be my responsibility to identify the crux of problems and address them with a more macro approach,” she declared.

In line with a new style of governance, she would seek to meet lawmakers of different political affiliations with the hope of building a permanent communication mechanism and improving relations between the executive and legislative branches. She also promised to engage different stakeholders to work out new directions on her education, land and taxation initiatives.

The city’s new leader urged society to unite, move forward and heal the divide after the election, which had been compounded by speculation and rumors. She would invite people with different views to discuss issues of common concern.

“We hope we can find the way out, while people with different views can come together as time goes by,” she said although she was unsure if anyone from the opposition camp would be willing to join her new administration.

'Humbled' leader vows to begin new chapter in HK’s journey
Well-wishers gathered in Chater Garden, Central — not far from the former Legislative Council building — toast the victory of Lam on Sunday. (P ARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)
On her future cabinet, Lam said she will identify talented people, regardless of their political backgrounds, for appointment as principal officials by the central government.  She said she already has some people in mind, but would not reveal them for the time being.

She also thanked her husband for his sacrifice, and joked he will have to sacrifice even more now that she has been chosen Chief Executive.

After a brief rest, Lam will visit various districts today (Monday) to meet residents and thank them for their support. She will pay courtesy calls on incumbent CE Leung Chun-ying, Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal Geoffrey Ma Tao-li, President of the Legislative Council Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, as well as the three central government institutions stationed in Hong Kong, as a matter of protocol.

Jonathan Choi Koon-shum, president of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, said the 777 votes that Lam secured were beyond expectations, showing that those who did not nominate her had voted for her. Lam had received 580 nominations.

“Carrie has the heart, capabilities and commitment to be CE,” he commented. “As to her next task, she needs to unite society, including the opposition camp, and mend the rift like Nyuwa. I’m confident she can do that.”

Nyuwa is a fictional female figure in Chinese mythology that repaired the pillar of heaven. Holden Chow Ho-ding, lawmaker and vice-chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, praised Lam for winning a huge number of votes, saying this showed she has the broad support of the Election Committee members.

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