Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying appointed Ip Kwok-him to the Executive Council (ExCo) on Thursday, following the resignation of Starry Lee Wai-king.
“Mr Ip has rich experience in the Legislative Council, public service as well as in district work. I am confident that he will provide wise counsel in policy-making after joining ExCo,” Leung said.
Ip is a pro-establishment Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) party, Legislative Councillor for District Council (First) and a Hong Kong Deputy to the National People’s Congress of China.
Lee, the Chairwoman of DAB, said that she hopes to focus on the work of LegCo and her party.
Ip said that Lee’s decision may have been personal and that she may have resigned due to her “heavy workload”.
When asked whether her resignation was related to a potential run for the Chief Executive position, Ip simply stated that it was not related.
Ip said he was very happy to be appointed and that it will be a big challenge and responsibility for him. He said he will try his best to reflect the public’s opinion to the Executive Council. He added that he will not run for functional constituency seat in September’s Legislative Council elections.
Conflict of interests
Labour Party lawmaker Cyd Ho Sau-lan said she did not believe Lee’s resignation was related to her becoming DAB’s chairwoman.
“She has been chairwoman for some time, if that reason was true, she should have resigned a few months ago,” Ho said.
She added that she hoped there would be more lawmakers with just one role, rather than being district councillor and executive councillor at the same time, as it is tiring.
Ho also said that Executive Councillors have to support the government’s decisions, thus there may be a conflict between being an executive councillor and a lawmaker.
“As a politician with principles, you would have to make a choice,” she said.