Hong Kong Ethics Commission Defends Handling of Review

March 5 (Bloomberg) --A day after thousands of Hong Kong protesters demanded the resignation of the city’s chief executive over allegations he accepted favors from businessmen, officials defended a review of conflict of interest rules.

“It is of crucial importance for the public to have full confidence in the system,” Andrew Kwok-nang Li, chairman of a government committee set up to review the regulations, said according to a transcript. “We need a good system. It is only with a good system that we can uphold the dignity and the honor of these high public offices.”

The government review comes amid allegations Donald Tsang, the city’s chief executive who will retire in four months after six years in office, accepted favors from businessmen. Hong Kong’s anti-corruption bureau has begun its first-ever probe into a chief executive, investigating overseas trips that Tsang took on luxury yachts and private jets from local business people.

Hong Kong is in the middle of a campaign to replace the leader March 25 when a 1,200-member election committee chooses from three candidates.

“We are an independent committee,” Li said. “We operate independently. Our responsibility is to review the present system and suggest improvements to the present system.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Shai Oster in Hong Kong at soster@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Hwee Ann Tan at hatan@bloomberg.net

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