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Sunday, Aug 14, 2022

John Lee selected as Hong Kong’s next leader with 1,416 support votes

Sole chief executive race candidate John Lee Ka-chiu has been selected to become Hong Kong’s next leader with 1,416 votes.
The 64-year-old former chief secretary will take office on July 1.

Lee was declared winner of the election at around 12.30pm, an hour after the polling ended.

The to-be-chief executive received 1,416 support votes and 8 non-support votes from the newly-revamped Election Committee. 4 ballot papers are invalid as no vote has been marked on it. Lee's 99.2 percent support rate is the highest ever for the city's top leadership election.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor congrats John Lee on his successful election.

"I extend my sincere congratulations to Mr John Lee on his successful election and later today, I will submit a report of the election result to the Central People's Government. The present-term government and I will ensure a seamless transition with the Chief Executive-elect. We will render all the support needed for the assumption of office by the new term of government." the statement wrote.

The Election Committee – who were vetted by Lee himself last year – gathered on Sunday to cast their ballots in the small-circle race at Wan Chai’s Convention and Exhibition Centre.

A total of 1,428 members of the 1,461-strong committee had cast a ballot – representing a turnout rate of 97.74 percent.

Lee grew up in public housing before joining the police force as a probationary inspector in 1977, and earned a master’s degree in public policy and administration from Charles Sturt University in Australia.

As chief superintendent of the criminal investigation unit, Lee helped Guangdong police investigate the kidnapping of billionaire Li Ka-shing’s eldest son, Victor, in the late 1990s, according to a person who worked under Lee as a police officer on the case.

The case foreshadowed future battles over Hong Kong’s legal autonomy, after Chinese authorities decided to try, and ultimately execute, the defendant on the mainland. Victor Li, who’s now chairman of CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd., was among the first tycoons to voice support for Lee’s candidacy as chief executive last month.

In 2012, then-Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, whose father had been a police officer, brought Lee into the government as undersecretary for security. Lam promoted him into her cabinet as security secretary five years later, where he was central to advocating extradition legislation that prompted anti-government rallies of more than a million people in 2019. Early on in the protests, he joined Lam in apologizing for the bill and the “controversies and rifts it has caused in society.”

As Xi’s government lost patience with the increasingly violent demonstrations, Lee followed Lam in taking a harsher tone against the protests and defending police efforts to sweep activists from the streets.

Lee became a chief proponent of the Beijing-drafted national security law that has resulted in the arrests of some 182 people, the closure of at least a dozen news organizations and the dissolution of some of the city’s largest labor unions.

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