The central government may seek alternatives to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in 2017 unless he his popularity improves, a National People's Congress Standing Committee member said.
Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai revealed this yesterday as the popularity of Leung continues to fall.
According to the University of Hong Kong Public Opinion Programme, his rating stands at 37.7, down 2.1 compared with mid-February. It is the third lowest since Leung became chief executive in July 2012.
Fan said although Leung is working hard to build a "Hong Kong camp" to unite the people, his popularity still suffers.
"I believe the central government will be looking at other possibilities. Leung Chun- ying, as the incumbent who needs to fight for his second term, has an advantage. However, as his popularity has failed to reach a higher level, he needs to work hard a bit," Fan told RTHK.
"Some lawmakers have voiced different opinions from those of the chief executive, and they are from the pro- establishment camp."
Fan said it would be better to have one more pro-Beijing candidate next year.
In an interview with iCable, Fan suggested those who want to run in next year's election need to think about how to improve the relationship between the executive and legislative branches of government. KENNETH LAU