Top News | Phoenix Un 17 Mar 2017

Richard Li Tzar-kai, younger son of tycoon Li Ka-shing, has thrown his support behind Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor as the next chief executive, joining his brother Victor Li Tzar-kuoi.

During the nomination period, Richard Li and his father did not cast any nomination for any contender and opted not to reveal which candidate they would support.

But in an interview with three Chinese-language newspapers published yesterday, Richard Li said: "A chief executive who gets the trust, the complete trust, of the central government would bring more stability to Hong Kong and its citizens."

Asked if he would risk offending anyone by declaring his support for Lam, the PCCW chairman said: "It is choosing A or B in the process of democracy."

He added: "During the nomination period, I thought that if the three candidates weren't trusted by Beijing, they would not have occupied those important posts, but now my thinking has changed."

He said Brexit, Donald Trump's election as president of the United States, populism in France and the Netherlands, and tense relations between China and Japan have not impacted Hong Kong.

"It doesn't mean Hong Kong won't be impacted in the future. It will bring more stability to Hong Kong if it has a chief executive totally trusted by Beijing," he said.

At Tuesday's debate, John Tsang Chun-wah described Lam as "Leung Chun-ying 2.0" as well as "polarization 2.0."

"I don't believe society will polarize immediately after any of the three candidates is elected," Li said. Li's support - according to Regina Ip Lau Suk- yee - has significant influence.

"He can affect other votes, and for votes that he can affect they will follow him, which in turn, further strengthens Lam's dominance."

Ip said the only thing that Tsang can do now is boost further his approval rating. "This might embarrass Lam as Tsang will then lose despite his high popularity."

Meanwhile, candidate Woo Kwok- hing rejected claims that his mission for the elections has ended.

This follows Civic Party chairman Alan Leong Kah-kit's remarks that Woo has already done his part in the race, and that his party will give all its 25 votes to Tsang.

The development marks a setback for Woo, who got all his 180 nominations from pro-democrats.

"In the secret ballot, the system is so secure that nobody knows who they voted for," Woo said, adding he would court pro-establishment Election Committee electors.

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