Regina Ip leaves the door open to contest CE race

Updated: 2011-11-16 07:32

By Guo Jiaxue(HK Edition)

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 Regina Ip leaves the door open to contest CE race

Regina Ip, chairwoman of New People's Party, attends a "special" news conference on Tuesday, to respond to wide speculation that she may run as a chief executive candidate. Edmond Tang / China Daily

Former security secretary says she needs more time to consider running for top post

Reporters gathered, in anticipation of an announcement of yet another hat tossed into the ring to succeed Donald Tsang as Chief Executive (CE) on Tuesday night.

The former secretary for security, Regina Ip was widely expected to announce her decision after a closed-door session.

But the chairwoman of New People's Party, instead, demurred, saying it is still too early for her to decide, though consultation within the party proved positive.

Repeated rounds of applause could be heard bursting from the closed chamber.

Ip held a special general meeting on Tuesday night, polling the opinions of party members about her prospects to stand for the post of CE.

It was also the day when nomination for the Election Committee Subsectors closed.

Vice-Chairman Michael Tien concluded after the meeting that the mainstream opinion of party members is that they will respect Ip's decision.

If Ip decides to run, they will support her, Tien said.

However, despite the fact the clock is ticking down, Ip claimed that she still needs "very careful consideration".

She set no deadline for any announcement about her decision.

"There's still time," Ip said, adding the names of election committee members haven't even come out yet.

Ip set out her reservations about running for the top job. The future of the young party that established itself less than a year ago needs to be firmly on course.

Ip reminded reporters that if she won the election she would have to quit the party, under stipulations of the Chief Executive Election Ordinance.

Candidly, she said, the odds of her winning the election and whether the party had the resources even to support her were other major concerns.

Still, she argued, she has the advantage of being neutral, has no interest relationship with any group, and has no credibility issues.

She added that given her age, this may be her last opportunity to run for the city's top job.

She admitted that her canvassing started late.

She said she has to worry about whether she can get at least 150 nominations of election committee members to be a CE candidate.

Tien explained that Ip, as the party's chairwoman, had focused her energies on the District Council Election earlier this month.

"She was so busy, had no chance to contact those people," he said.

Compared with Ip's cautions, her followers took the chance to show their confidence in Ip.

Tien praised Ip's abilities as a potential leader, reiterating that she is not affiliated with any specific sector.

Another vice-chairman, Louis Shih, echoed his belief that Ip is qualified for the top job.

Shih added he personally also wishes Ip will make her decision as soon as possible.

China Daily

(HK Edition 11/16/2011 page1)