Friday, June 17, 2005

Donald Tsang becomes new Chief Executive!

UPDATE: With the controversial electoral system under the Basic Law, Donald Tsang, the 61 years-old civil servant who never went to university, but worked his way up the administrative ladder after joining the civil service in 1967, designated to replace his predecessor Tung Chee-Wah to become the new Chief Executive of Hong Kong.

He came across as arrogant during the two weeks election campaign, in which he refused to debate with his rivals. As the election of the Chief Executive only decided by the 800-Election Committee (which is packed with China's supporters), his rivals couldn't secure the necessary 100 votes in order to qualify as a candidate. On June 15, Donald Tsang managed to gain about 714 nominations out of 800 Election Committee. Therefore, he was declared as the winner.

What's Next for him?

According to the Christian Barby from The Independent, "Mr Tsang has a reputation for being extremely decisive but his unswerving loyalty to Beijing suggests that he will be unwilling to push through any radical political reforms. His experience might see him become the stabilising force that Beijing is so eager for, but doesn't leave much room for optimism among those who feel China already wields too much influence over the former British colony."

"Pro-democracy (the opposite of pro-China) groups grumble about China’s refusal to introduce elections by universal suffrage. They also criticise China’s decision to allow Mr Tsang initially to serve out only the remaining two years of Mr Tung’s term, instead of a full five years. This has been widely seen as a way for China to replace Mr Tsang swiftly if he fails to meet its expectations. But many believe that Mr Tsang will try harder than Mr Tung to win over the democrats, and that China wants him to succeed, " in the current Economist issue with the title of "A Knight of the people's paradise".

Many political observers think Mr Tsang cautiously vague when describing his hopes for democratization in Hong Kong. Many pro-democracy politician say he will be careful not to upset the Chinese leadership. However, he has to balance the interest of the Beijing government and the Hong Kong people's interest particularly the call for the universal suffrage.