Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, founding chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB), the largest pro-Beijing political party in Hong Kong, has officially bowed out of the upcoming Chief Executive election.
Explaining his decision, Tsang said that numerous events in recent days have severely hurt the credibility of the election and that he hoped the central government would pay attention to this.
Tsang also added that the desire of the Hong Kong people for universal suffrage in the election of their Chief Executive is now more intense than ever, and that the next Chinese administration would do well to keep this in mind.
While numerous controversies dogged other key candidates in the pro-establishment camp, Tsang was once viewed as a dark horse in the race and a potential game changer.
Henry Tang, widely believed to be the candidate with the backing of Beijing, has seen his popularity ratings plummet following rumours of marital infidelity and news that he had illegally built a basement under his swimming pool in violation of building regulations.
Meanwhile, CY Leung, the other key contender was revealed to be one of the judges for a concept planning competition for the West Kowloon Cultural District in 2001 although his company was acting as a consultant for one of the competitors.
The current Chief Executive, Donald Tsang, whose term ends in June, has also been fighting accusations that he has breached the city’s anti-bribery laws after pictures of him and his wife wining and dining with high rollers on a triple deck luxury boat were splashed in local media.
He has also been in the spotlight over a three-storey 6,500 sq ft luxury penthouse in Shenzhen’s Futian district which will serve as his retirement residence.
The apartment was said to be a “gift from the developer”, a tycoon by the name of Wong Cho-bau, who is also a delegate of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
Donald Tsang’s successor will be elected by a 1200-member, mostly pro-Beijing, Election Committee on March 25.