Carrie Lam was elected as the next chief executive of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region yesterday, vowing to lead Hong Kong forward in solidarity. The Electoral Affairs Commission of the Hong Kong SAR said Lam garnered 777 of 1,163 valid votes, followed by John Tsang with 365 and Woo Kwok-hing with 21.

A candidate wins the election when he or she obtains more than 600 valid votes in any round of voting and will be appointed by the central government, according to Hong Kong’s Basic Law and the Chief Executive Election Ordinance. After the appointment, the winner will take oath of office on July 1 and become the fifth-term chief executive.

Lam, 59, said she was ready to begin a new chapter in the journey together with the Hong Kong people. “The work of uniting our society to move forward begins now,” she said. Lam said she will discuss with people from various sectors on the development of Hong Kong, such as applying new resources in education, tackling housing problem and introducing new financial and tax measures. She also pledged to do her utmost to uphold “one country, two systems” and to guard Hong Kong’s core values.

In her manifesto, Lam proposed to increase the recurrent expenditure for education by HK$5 billion (US$644 million). She said she would reach out to various stakeholders and legislators to discuss and decide how to apply these new resources. “I am confident that we can put aside any differences and achieve a win-win situation,” she said. Lam also proposed the introduction of a two-tier profits tax system and tax deductions to encourage research and development. She said she would invite employers and employees in all sectors as well as experts and academics to come up with ideas to help devise new plans.

On housing, Lam pledged to help Hong Kong people attain home ownership and to improve living conditions. Conceding defeat, Tsang called on his supporters to back the new administration. Incumbent Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying congratulated Lam on her victory. “I extend my sincere congratulations to Mrs Carrie Lam on her successful election and I will submit later today a report of the election results to the Central People’s Government,” he said.

Between 2000 and 2017, Lam held various posts in the Hong Kong SAR government, including director of Social Welfare Department; permanent secretary for housing, planning and lands; director-general of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London, as well as permanent secretary for home affairs. She was appointed secretary for development in 2007. In 2012, she was appointed chief secretary for administration.

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