Chief executive contender John Tsang has said he hopes to be able to submit the required nominations to become a candidate early next week.
He said on Friday he had more than 100 nominations and he will try to obtain a few more than 150, the required amount of support from electors, for safety. Then he will stop seeking nominations.
“I am thankful for the encouragement from electors and the public,” he said. “I wish to obtain support from all parts of the political spectrum.”
Many of Tsang’s nominations are from the 327-member pro-democracy camp, as his main rival Carrie Lam obtained many of the nominations from the pro-Beijing camp. Tsang said electors have the freedom to choose how they use their nominations.
“You can make your judgment,” he said, with regards to the large proportion of pro-democracy nominations.
Tsang also said the nomination period ending on March 1 was the first phase, but the winner of the election must obtain 601 votes in a secret ballot, so he cannot win without support from the pro-Beijing camp.
“I will continue seeking pro-Beijing camp’s support,” he said.
When asked about why he would not attend a debate with contenders Regina Ip and Woo Kwok-hing on Saturday, he said he would be very busy over the weekend on verification work for the nominations.
He said that he would not modify his election manifesto, owing to time constraints, responding to Ip issuing yet another update of her manifesto on Friday.
“The manifesto is a platform of discussion that I provide some idea to collect further opinion. If I am luckily being elected, I will implement the opinion that I can include,” he said.
Responding to the recent controversy over a police officer comparing treatment of his colleagues to the Holocaust, Tsang said that he did not agree with the comments, and that he believed people needed to be careful in handling such controversy.
Meanwhile, Regina Ip has encountered difficulty in obtaining nominations other than from her party’s close supporters. She managed to receive one nomination from an accountancy sector elector of the pro-democracy camp.
Ip said in a i-Cable news interview on Thursday that someone claiming to be close to Beijing had approached her and offered her top national positions, such as the National People’s Congress or Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, hinting that she can get the rewards if she quits the race.
But she said she did not want a consolation prize and would not rule out another run in five years time.
Woo said he had received 92 nominations so far.