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Hong Kong Financial Secretary Tsang resigns to run for chief executive job

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah reacts during a press conference in the Central Governement office in Hong Kong on September 21, 2016.
Anthony Wallace | AFP | Getty Images
Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah reacts during a press conference in the Central Governement office in Hong Kong on September 21, 2016.

Hong Kong's Financial Secretary John Tsang has resigned his post pending an announcement he will run for the city's top job next March.

A press release from the website of the Hong Kong government stated that current Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying received Tsang's resignation today.

The Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, today (December 12) received the resignation tendered by the Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, and has submitted it to the Central People's Government.

Mr Tsang will proceed on leave tomorrow. During this period, the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Professor K C Chan, will be the Acting Financial Secretary.

The resignation ends months of speculation on whether 65-year-old Tsang, currently topping popularity polls, wanted to run for Chief Executive of Hong Kong. It comes after unpopular incumbent Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying announced last Friday that he would not stand for a second five-year term.

Affectionately known as "Uncle Pringles" for his signature moustache, the U.S.-educated lover of fencing and martial arts has served as the former British colony's finance minister since July 2007.

Candidates running for Chief Executive have to be vetted by a 1,200-strong Election Committee, which will be formed in December. The same committee will decide who will lead the city of 7.2 million people in late March.

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