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HK only contender in leadership election stresses importance of 'rule of law'


Hong Kong's sole candidate to become its next leader attended a televised forum on Saturday (April 30), taking prerecorded questions from members of the community and responding to questions from journalists.

John Lee, 64, a former deputy head of police, is expected to be appointed Hong Kong's chief executive in a selection process on May 8, with the backing of Beijing.

Lee emphasised the importance of the city's core values including the rule of law and said that all citizens must obey all local laws.

"Hong Kong cares about democracy, freedom and justice. We are a rule-of-law society", Lee said. "So I emphasise that all people have to obey the law. This is a very fundamental idea behind the rule of law."

Lee also commented on the large numbers of people who are emigrating from the city and reiterated that the Asian financial capital held many opportunities.

Lee is due to take over as the former British colony's chief executive on July 1, replacing Carrie Lam who is stepping down at the end of her first term. Critics have blamed Lam for mishandling crises including anti-government protests in 2019, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lee will take over the Chinese-ruled city amid growing concern in the financial community that its role as an international hub of commerce could be at risk.

These questions have been raised partly because of extended COVID-19 lockdowns but also because of a 2020 national security law that critics, including Western governments, say authorities have used to clamp down on opposition democrats, the media and free speech.

Hong Kong and Chinese officials have argued that the law has restored stability to Hong Kong and will safeguard its economic success.

Published : May 01, 2022

By : Reuters