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In Hong Kong, leader Carrie Lam gives up a second mandate

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on March 30, 2021 during a press conference on the reform of the administrative region's electoral system.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, head of the government of the special administrative region of China since 2017, announced on Monday morning April 4 that she would not seek a second five-year term. The election was due to take place on March 27, but the ballot was postponed to May 8 to allow the government to focus on the cataclysm caused by the fifth wave of Covid-19, in the face of which the authorities were not at all prepared. Many of the measures deployed have proven to be as drastic as they are ineffective and inconsistent, to the point of reaching the highest death rate per capita in the world.

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“After forty-two years of government service, it is time for me to come home,” said Carrie Lam, 64, during her daily press briefing. The leader said she informed the central government of her intention not to seek a second term at the National People’s Congress in Beijing in March 2021. “I expressed my personal aspirations and wishes and they [le gouvernement central] showed understanding, she said.

There is no doubt that the last three years, marked by a long season of violent riots in 2019 and then by the Covid-19 epidemic, must have been difficult for her two sons, young adults, and her husband, all returned in Hong Kong to surround him in his role as number one. But “the family” is a justification that deceives no one and which had already served as an excuse for his predecessor, Leung Chun-ying, when he also had to give up a second term.

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Unpopularity record

“Beijing is furious at the damage Carrie Lam has caused, both to Hong Kong and to China’s image. The dissatisfaction of Hong Kong citizens has highlighted the antagonism between the Chinese model and Western values. Under the leadership of Carrie Lam, Hong Kong has repeatedly shamed China and embarrassed China, and this Beijing cannot forgive,” explain to World, on condition of anonymity, a former senior government official. For some time now, the rebellion has been rising everywhere, including business circles, pro-Beijing newspapers and even within its government.

Coming to power in 2017, Carrie Lam had the hope and ambition to unite Hong Kong society, already worried about China’s growing hold on the territory, where citizens were strongly attached to Western values, in particular universal freedoms (freedom of expression, freedom of the press). Exactly the opposite happened. Society is more divided than ever, as China’s control has grown considerably in recent years.

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