Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has said that he “welcomes competition,” should he decide to run for re-election for the city’s top job.
His statements came after outgoing Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing and Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah both said they they may consider running.
Leung has yet to publicly declare whether he will seek another term.
When asked about his two potential competitors by Chinese-language newspaper Metro Daily, Leung said: “I welcome competition, if I decide to join the election.”
Last Friday morning, Jasper said in an interview that he would consider running for chief executive if no other candidate believed to be a “real choice” challenges Leung for the job.
Within hours, another media interview with John Tsang was broadcast, saying he is willing to be the chief executive, if he can make contributions to Hong Kong in the position.
Other top political figures tipped to run, namely Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and Executive Councillor Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, have yet to give clear signs that they will run.
Previously, Jasper Tsang claimed he was told by a central government official that Beijing will not pick a winner for the Chief Executive election next year.
“Whether or not the next election will be conducted by universal suffrage, the central government will not point out ‘this is the person the central government wants’,” he quoted the official as saying.
“As long as the candidates are acceptable to the central government – candidates A, B and C – they will be in fair competition,” he added.
Leung’s interview published on Thursday also touched on his performance as Chief Executive in the past four years. Leung said the work of the current administration has benefited middle class and the common people.
“No matter who is the next chief executive, I believe the next government should not stray from our policies,” he said.
But he also told the newspaper that the government had not done some of its work well enough.