Hong Kong, Apr 9 (EFE).- John Lee, the former No.2 and chief secretary in the government, Saturday announced his candidacy for chief executive in Hong Kong’s elections next month.
The United States government sanctioned Lee for undermining the autonomy of Hong Kong.
He has the backing of Beijing to be the next head of the territory and will be the only candidate in the elections to be held on May 8.
Lee announced his bid for the top job in a virtual address to the media.
He said his decision to run for the post was made out of his loyalty to the country, his love for Hong Kong, and his sense of duty to the people of the city.
Lee resigned on Wednesday as the city’s number two to contest the election.
He vowed to adopt “results-oriented” governance to “boost Hong Kong’s competitiveness and consolidate the foundation of the city’s development.”
Lee said the coming five years would be key for the city to move from peace to prosperity.
“This new chapter will be a new symphony. Being the conductor, each member will be able to leverage his or her strengths to create the synergy effect… Together, we will play a more splendid new piece for Hong Kong,” he said.
Hong Kong’s chief executive is not chosen by popular vote but by a small-scale election in which only members of an electoral committee can vote.
The committee is made up of 1,462 members, all of them politically loyal to Beijing.
Lee needs at least 751 votes of the committee to become the new Hong Kong chief executive, replacing the current leader, Carrie Lam.
Considered loyal to Beijing, Lee began his career as a civil servant in a temporary position as a police inspector at the age of 20.
Since then, his career was linked to law and order, reaching key positions such as deputy commissioner of police and security secretary.
For the past two years, Lee has played a key role in cracking down on opposition in Hong Kong.
He implemented a strict national security law imposed by Beijing to counter the 2019 anti-government protests.
The anti-government protests began in the wake of a controversial extradition law in which Lee also played a prominent role.
In 2020, he was one of the 11 officials from China and Hong Kong sanctioned by the former US administration under President Donald Trump for “undermining the autonomy of Hong Kong and restricting freedom of expression and assembly.” EFE