With overwhelming support from the community, Hong Kong SAR Chief Executive Tung Chee Hwa officially handed in his nomination form for a second term of office Tuesday morning.
Tung, accompanied by his electoral assistants, handed in the form with more than 700 nominations from 796 members of the Election Committee.
At least 60 local and international journalists packed the office entrance to capture the event.
Tung's popularity was reflected by a survey recently conducted by the Hong Kong Policy Research Institute, revealing that Tung has been gaining increasing support in the past three months.
Tung enjoyed a performance rating of 105.3 points in January, compared with 89.9 in December 2001. The figure is the highest in the past three months, according to the institute.
Bernard Chan, legislative councilor and chairman of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, said that he believed Tung is a person who will be able to lead Hong Kong to face challenges encountered by people in all walks of life.
The Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong has earlier issued a media release, praising Tung for maintaining Hong Kong's stable political environment, which is conducive to business.
"The chief executive is committed to this concept and has the support of the central government. This provides a stable political environment which enhances Hong Kong's reputation as a regional business center encouraging international business to establish headquarters here and provide opportunities for the local community," said the release.
Cheng Yiu Tong, Hong Kong deputy to the National People's Congress and chairman of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions,and Henry Fok, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, have supportedTung's nomination.
In particular, Cheng said, "Tung has worked hard without complaint and is willing to bear the yoke and mission of implementing the 'one country, two systems' principle."
Although he made only a brief speech to the media after submitting his nomination form, Tung, who laid out his pledges at great length in the four consultation sessions with the Election Committee members last month, Tung promised that he would ensure policy planning and implementation in step with the times.
In his election speech last December 13, he said he would raisegovernment efficiency by re-engineering the government and instilling a service-oriented culture within the civil service.
On the economic front, Tung pledged to strengthen Hong Kong's competitive advantage by making full use of China's accession to the World Trade Organization for the benefit of Hong Kong and by devising specific policies in line with Hong Kong's position as aninternational financial, trade, logistics and tourism center.
He also promised to create more jobs for Hong Kong people and to encourage a sense of unity and fine tradition in the community.Tung has also stressed that he would continue to defend the rule of law.
"Hong Kong's success depends on our ability to defend the rule of law. This is my commitment to Hong Kong. And I feel that in thepast four and a half years, where this is concerned, we've done very well. In future, I will continue to do the same," Tung said.