Wed, 09 Mar 2005

From: AFP

HK leader confirms resignation plans

HONG KONG: Hong Kong leader Tung Chee-hwa has confirmed his resignation plans to top aides, a press report said on Tuesday, as opponents urged the unpopular chief executive to end the uncertainty surrounding his future.

Tung told members of his cabinet and other key officials on Monday that he had decided to resign and had discussed his departure with China's leaders, the South China Morning Post reported, citing one of the cabinet members.

"He said he is resigning because he is tired and his health is not good," the paper quoted the cabinet minister as saying, adding that Tung had not yet formally tendered his resignation.

Tung, who has so far made no official comment on his early resignation reported by Hong Kong and international media last week, said the time was right to step down because the economy was rebounding, the Post reported.

The embattled leader met senior aides in a steady stream of meetings throughout Monday, including his deputy Donald Tsang, widely tipped as his replacement, and Financial Secretary Henry Tang. --AFP