‘Allowing gatherings for CE hopefuls well-justified’

Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Sunday defended the government’s decision to exempt CE hopefuls from the ban on public gatherings.

The government announced on Saturday evening that those who have publicly declared their intention to run for office are permitted to conduct indoor election-related gatherings with members of the Election Committee starting from Sunday.

From April 23, candidates whose nominations are validated by the Candidate Eligibility Review Committee are also allowed to conduct election-related gatherings with the public in indoor settings.

Speaking to reporters during her daily Covid briefing, she said they had considered both the need to safeguard public health and the importance of the election.

Lam added that she believes people would want the election to go smoothly.

“I hope people will realise this is a very important occasion for Hong Kong and we would like to see the prospective candidates having this opportunity to seek sufficient nominations during the nomination period, and thereafter for those who have been validated as a CE candidate to participate in all sorts of electioneering activities,” she said.

“So the exemptions granted by the Chief Secretary were very well-justified.”

Asked if she would seek re-election, Lam said it’s not an appropriate time to announce her decision yet.