Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has said he is not Putin – the Russian president – emphasising that he has not considered running for the city’s top job again, and has no plans to do so.
Asked on a RTHK English radio programme on Friday if he will not run again under any circumstances, he said: “I have no plan at all.”
Putin finished his term as president in 2008 and became the country’s prime minister for four years, before becoming president again in 2012.
Leung said, “For 40 years now I have been in public service both on Hong Kong level and on the country’s level. After July 1 this year, I’ll probably be the same CY Leung, meaning helping in whatever way I can, serving Hong Kong, serving the country.”
He was then questioned by the hosts if he will “do a Vladimir Putin.” He answered: “I am definitely not Mr Putin.”
He said his focus for the next five months is to push forward the initiatives laid out in his last policy address.
He was also asked to comment on John Tsang or Carrie Lam, both of whom he has worked with, on who is the better contender for the top job.
Leung said he should not comment on it, that he should wait for their manifestos.
Asked whether four candidates were too many, Leung said that the pro-democracy camp should also join to give people a “real choice,” as all candidates now are from the pro-Beijing camp.
“If there’s another candidate from the other side, making [it] five or six, I don’t think it’s a bad thing,” he said. He added it may help with improving Hong Kong’s election system in the long term.
Asked about his regrets, Leung said he regretted not traveling as much and he had given up swimming every night since he moved into the government house, so that “in a way” he said he was looking forward to moving out.
“It’s not really a home, it’s a residence,” he said. “Government house is much more like an office.”