Hong Kong Has A Challenger

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Alan Leong, a Hong Kong lawyer and politician, announced this afternoon he has secured enough nominations to participate in Hong Kong’s Chief Executive race. That means the territory will have its first contested election for the top political office since the handover 10 years ago. Of course, as I wrote previously, under the current electoral system he has almost no chance of defeating incumbent Donald Tsang, who is expected to formally announce he’s running tomorrow.

While he acknowledges that he has little shot at winning, Leong says he wants to force a debate on the issues. In that sense, Hong Kongers seem to be glad he’s running. In a recent poll by the Chinese University of Hong Kong (a Chinese-only version is here), 90% of respondents said they wanted a race with more than one candidate and 87% would like a public debate. Of course, not that many actually want Leong to win. Tsang polled 49.7% support, while Leong had just 22%.