January 24, 2007

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Driving Mr Tsang

You know things are pretty desperate in Hong Kong's political scene when Donald Tsang's trip to his campaign office in his government car is grounds for a press beat-up. In most grown up democracies the incumbent does two things at once: they run for office and run the government at the same time. The Don tells the SCMP to do otherwise would imperil him...

Citing an unnamed "very reliable legal opinion", he said taking leave to campaign could "amount to dereliction of duty" under the Basic Law.

"People will take me to court. There will be a judicial review on my decision to take a holiday and abdicate the work of chief executive. And then, if something like avian flu happens, I will have to stop everything and come back to work to deal with the crisis."...

"The last thing I want is to cheat the electoral process. It will be a fair game. I have to conduct it with the advantage and disadvantage of incumbency. It's something I cannot help."

Why bother cheating an electoral process that is so pointless in the first place?

posted by Simon on 01.24.07 at 02:04 PM in the Hong Kong category.


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In the US at least, the incumbent has to repay the Treasury for campaign trip expenses. The incumbent of course denies that trips are campaign stops and are really part of the course of his/her duties.

But it's pretty hard to spin a trip to campaign HQ as anything but campaigning, especially since there are so many other parts of HK that Darth Bowtie has never visited officially.

posted by: Tom - Daai Tou Laam on 01.25.07 at 09:58 AM [permalink]

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