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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 May, 2005, 08:33 GMT 09:33 UK
HK lawmaker runs for leadership
By Chris Hogg
BBC News, Hong Kong

Chim Pui-chung
Chim Pui-chung is known as the 'angry man' of his home region
A second Hong Kong lawmaker has announced his intention to run for chief executive of the territory.

Maverick stockbroker Chim Pui-chung announced his candidacy on Tuesday, joining Lee Wing-tat of the Democratic Party in the race.

An election committee of 800, largely loyal to Beijing, is due to choose Hong Kong's new leader on 10 July.

Acting Chief Executive Donald Tsang, the favourite to win, has yet to say formally that he is intending to stand.

But the two lawmakers who have already announced their candidacy have said they are running in the hope of turning the leadership contest into a real race.

Chim Pui-chung is known as the "angry man of Chiu Chow", after the region in southern China he comes from.

He has a criminal conviction for fraud, but he does not think that will harm his chances of running for chief executive.

Like Lee Wing-tat, the first hurdle he has to overcome is to get nominated by 100 members of the 800-member election committee.

HONG KONG LEADERSHIP
Feb 2002 - Tung Chee-hwa elected to second five-year term
March 2005 - Mr Tung steps down for health reasons
July 2005 - 800-strong committee chooses successor
2007 - Committee chooses leader for fresh five-year term

He argues the process should be a real election, not an anointment of the favourite, Donald Tsang, who is said to have the blessing of Beijing. Mr Chim has rejected suggestions that he has been encouraged to run by the Chinese leadership in order to dilute support for the pro-democracy camp's candidate.

Indeed he said that some friends from the mainland had tried to discourage him from standing.

There seems little doubt that Mr Tsang will in the end be selected as the new chief executive.

But analysts are watching the race closely to see whether, and how, Beijing seeks to influence the result, and what that tells us about the health of 'One Country Two Systems', the formula that is supposed to guarantee Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy to run its own affairs.


SEE ALSO:
Beijing rules on HK chief tenure
27 Apr 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Mixed press for Tung
11 Mar 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Hong Kong's leader Tung resigns
10 Mar 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Hong Kong looks to life after Tung
10 Mar 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Profile: Tung Chee-hwa
10 Mar 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Profile: Donald Tsang
10 Mar 05 |  Asia-Pacific


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