No new chief secretary for this current govt: CE

Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced on Thursday that the central government has decided not to appoint a replacement chief secretary, given that the administration’s term will end in less than three months.

That means the position will remain vacant until July 1, after John Lee resigned as chief secretary more than a week ago to stand in next month’s CE election.

At her daily press briefing, Lam described Beijing’s decision as “rare”, but said the government will operate fine without a chief secretary.

“Normally we will have an acting arrangement, even when I step out to go on a trip for a few days. But having consulted the central government, it believed it would be an appropriate arrangement not to have an acting chief secretary, which I do not oppose,” she said.

“One of the considerations, I believe, is that the current chief executive has been chief secretary for four and a half years, and seems to be able to cope.”

Lam added that some of the chief secretary’s responsibilities will be taken up by other top officials, and she has appointed Financial Secretary Paul Chan to head the Candidate Eligibility Review Committee for the CE election.

Education Secretary Kevin Yeung will also be part of the panel, filling in for Caspar Tsui who resigned as home affairs secretary in January.