This April 10, 2018 photo shows the East Wing of the Central Government Offices at Tamar, Hong Kong. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)

The Hong Kong government has said its work won’t be impeded despite the post of chief secretary lying vacant since April 7, stressing that appropriate arrangements have been put in place. 

Chief Secertary for Administration John Lee Ka-chiu tendered his resignation on Wednesday and announced his intention to run for the upcoming Hong Kong chief executive election scheduled for May 8. 

READ MORE: John Lee poised to run for Hong Kong’s top post

Responding to media enquiries, the government pointed out on Sunday that the chief secretary is delegated with the power in granting exemptions from compulsory quarantine or from directions imposing certain requirements or restrictions on scheduled premises such as event places. 

Such a power is granted under the relevant regulations made by the Chief Executive-in-Council under the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance, the government said in a statement

With specific references to this delegated power, the government explained that, by virtue of section 45 of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance, the chief executive may by order direct the holder of another public office to exercise the power conferred upon the holder of any public office when “no person has been appointed to discharge the functions of that office”. 

The CE has made such an order for an exemption from quarantine to be granted for the fifth batch of mainland experts arriving Hong Kong on April 7 to support the city’s anti-epidemic work, according to the statement. 

On April 2, the government announced that exemptions from the prevailing social distancing restrictions and group gatherings under the relevant regulations have been granted to facilitate the necessary activities during the sixth-term chief executive election in the interest of the Hong Kong public. 

It added that it will continue to act lawfully in accordance with the public interest in respect of any CE election matters.