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Former Hong Kong security secretary Regina Ip has said she is dropping out of the race to become chief executive of Hong Kong after failing to drum up enough support to proceed to the next stage.

Ms Ip announced she would quit the race after failing to secure the 150 nominations from the city’s electoral committee members needed to enter the final selection by the 1,194-strong committee. This is the second time the pro-establishment politician has stood for chief executive, having failed in her first attempt in 2012 after not gaining sufficient nominations.

“I think I failed to get in again because of the limitation of our system. Our election committee has only 1,194 votes, so when you have four candidates basically from the pro-establishment camp I have been squeezed out,” Ms Ip said.

Former Hong Kong chief secretary Carrie Lam submitted 579 nominations yesterday and was accepted as a candidate in the election later this month. The city’s former financial secretary John Tsang and former judge Woo Kwok-hing also had their nominations accepted.

The winner will need to gain 50 per cent of the election committee’s vote at the end of this month.

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