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Saturday, Jun 25, 2022

Exco exits to usher in new blood

Veteran Executive Council members such as convener Bernard Charnwut Chan and Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun are leaving, sources said, with the two indicating it is time to pass the torch on to the next generation.
Wide speculation within political circles had put some of the 16 non-official members enroute for Exco exits, including Chan, 57, and Law, 69.

Law, an Exco veteran since 2012, said that's it once her term ends.

"I have been an Exco member for 10 years, and should pass the torch on to younger people. That has been my practice. I did so after 10 years as a Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference deputy," she said.

A former education secretary and Independent Commission Against Corruption head, Fan has faded from the public limelight since stepping down as head of Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks in 2018.

Also hoping to pass on the torch is Chan, who was appointed to the council by former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa in 2004, making him an Exco mainstay for all four SAR chief executives.

Chan hinted Wednesday he should let people of different backgrounds come aboard. "It is time to have new faces so people can see hope," he said.

A politician said Chan was most probably leaving Exco as it would be tantamount to a "demotion" if he was only chosen as an Exco member.

Political parties have always been amply represented in Exco, but even if they are appointed in their personal capacity, they are actually representing their parties, according to a veteran pro-establishment heavyweight.

The largest party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, presently has former lawmaker Ip Kwok-him and vice chairman Horace Cheung Kwok-kwan in two of the non-official seats.

With Cheung widely expected to join the administration as principal official, the party is expected to put another vice chairman in his place, while Ip said he will consider staying on if the next chief executive, John Lee Ka-chiu, needs him. The Federation of Trade Unions is also set to replace its "representative" in Exco, Wong Kwok-kin, with a Legislative Council member, while New People's Party chief Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said she might stay on if Lee hopes so.

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