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People's Daily Online>>China Politics

Leung wins Hong Kong election by wide margin

By Zhao Qian and Miranda Shek (Global Times)

08:48, March 26, 2012

Leung Chun-ying, a former government adviser who pledged to protect local residents' interests, won Sunday's election to become the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region's (SAR) fourth-term chief executive.

The 57-year-old, British-educated real-estate surveyor won 689 of 1,132 valid votes cast by members of the 1,200-member Election Committee. He beat Henry Tang, former secretary of administration, and Albert Ho, Democratic Party leader, by wide margins.

Leung had dedicated his election campaign to protecting the rights of Hong Kong residents, including tough policies to control the city's runaway property prices and banning pregnant mothers from the mainland from giving birth at local public hospitals.

At the press conference after winning the poll, he reaffirmed his election pledges to build more public housing and promised to only sell homes to Hong Kong residents when the market becomes over-heated.

Leung also promised to speed up construction of the city's infrastructure and railway systems. His term will begin July 1 when Donald Tsang Yam-kuen completes his second term as the city's chief executive.

Leung was born into an ordinary family. His father was a police officer. After completing his studies in the UK, he went back to Hong Kong in 1977 to work as a property surveyor.

At age 31, Leung was appointed to draft the city's Basic Law in 1986, and in 1999 he took up the post of convener of the Non-Official Members of the Executive Council of Hong Kong.

"Livelihood issues, including soaring property prices and the widening wealth gap, could be the major challenges for Leung during his tenure," Zhang Dinghuai, a professor at the Contemporary Chinese Politics Research Institute at Shenzhen University, told the Global Times.

Zhang noted that Hong Kong could rely on the fast economic growth momentum of the mainland and seize a good opportunity to boost its economy.

The central government's supportive policies, including setting up an offshore renminbi center in Hong Kong, could benefit the region's development, said Zhang.

Bernard Yip, a political commentator and politics professor at Hong Kong University, told the Global Times that by only securing 689 votes, Leung will have a difficult time winning support from local residents.

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