CE poll postponed to May 8

February 18, 2022

(To watch the full media session with sign language interpretation, click here.)


The Chief Executive Election will be postponed to May 8 so that the Government can focus its efforts on fighting the COVID-19 epidemic, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced today.


The nomination period, which is due to start this Sunday for the election originally scheduled for March 27, will now take place between April 3 and 16.


At a special meeting held this afternoon, the Executive Council agreed to invoke the Emergency Regulations Ordinance to postpone the election.


Mrs Lam said one of the considerations in rescheduling the election day is the legal requirement that the nomination period shall not be less than 14 days and must end 21 days before the polling day.


Another factor is the need to allow sufficient time for the CE-elect to form his or her team and to complete the necessary work before taking office on July 1.


The Chief Executive said the central government is supportive of the election postponement and will find a solution if Hong Kong's current battle against COVID-19 lasts longer than expected.


“What would happen if somehow by April we were still facing a (COVID-19) situation as serious as today and similarly, the judgment is it would not be safe to start a Chief Executive election, then of course, one option is to do (it) at another time of postponing. We still have a little bit of time to postpone it again with the 14 days (of the nomination period) and 21 days (before the polling day).


“But that will take us very close to the end of June, which means that it will heavily compromise the second factor, and that is to allow sufficient time for the CE-elect to form his team and to complete the necessary work before he or she takes office on July 1. So it will be a very difficult decision by then. But that is all we can do because the current-term government cannot do anything that goes beyond our term.


“So options like extending the term of the Chief Executive or postponing the CE election to after June 30 are not decisions that we can (make). They can only be made by the Central People’s Government.


“And I believe that since the Central People’s Government is supportive of our current decision, when the time comes, then the Central People’s Government will, sort of, take over and find a solution to the problem.”

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