Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam announces she would not seek a second term in office
As chief executive, Ms Lam oversaw a turbulent period which saw greater Chinese influence in Hong Kong following massive protests in 2019.
Ms Lam, 64, was Beijing’s handpicked choice entering office in 2017.
On Monday, she told reporters she was prioritising her family.
“There’s only one consideration and that is family. I have told everyone before that family is my first priority in terms of my consideration. They think it’s time for me to go home,” she told reporters on Monday.
Hong Kong’s former Chief Secretary John Lee is tipped to be the favoured replacement for Ms Lam.
Her announcement on Monday came amid reports that Mr Lee, the second-highest ranking official, was due to present his candidacy for the leadership position this week.
The city’s leaders are selected by a small committee, whose members are nearly all pro-Beijing loyalists. They’re due to select the new chief executive next month.
Mr Lee, a former police officer, was also a leading security official during the 2019 protests. He was elevated to the leadership ranks last year, in a sign, analysts said, of Beijing’s intention to focus on security in Hong Kong.