Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announces she won’t seek second term

AP/Vincent Yu, file

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced on Monday that she will not seek a second term.

Lam, at a press conference, said she told the central authorities of her intention not to extend her service in March 2021. Her final day in office will be June 30.

“I will complete my five-year term as chief executive on the 30 of June this year, and I will also call an end to my 42 years of public service,” Lam said.

The chief executive said the “only consideration” behind her decision not to seek a second term was her family.

“The only consideration behind my decision is my family. As I’ve always said, my family takes precedence of everything and they all think that it’s time for me to return to family, and this is my sole consideration,” she told reporters.

She later said her her decision was “a question of my personal wish and aspiration.”

“And my personal wish and aspiration is entirely based on my family consideration. This is what I have told the Central People’s government, and they have expressed understanding. So I am taking this earliest opportunity to inform the public through the media that I will not contest in the upcoming chief executive election,” she added.

Lam’s announcement came one day after the nomination period for the position opened. The race is set for May 8. Lam first assumed the post in 2017.

Lam’s tenure as chief executive has been a turbulent one, marked by protests against a controversial extradition bill with China and Hong Kong’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to CNN. Protests responding to the extradition bill swelled to reflect fears that China’s influence was increasing in the city.

Lam eventually took the bill off the table. The spread of COVID-19 then rocked the city, especially as more variants emerged, CNN reported.

The protests in Hong Kong, however, finally subdued after a national security law was introduced in 2020, according to the network. The statute reportedly led to the arrest of democracy activists and politicians, and the dismissal of unions, advocacy groups and media organizations in Hong Kong.

Lam’s approval rating is the lowest since Hong Kong was given back to China in 1997, according to CNN.

Tags Carrie Lam Carrie Lam Chief Executive China Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong chief executive Reelection reelection
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