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13 locals plan to run for chief executive

13 local residents plan to run in the chief executive election next month and have picked up nomination forms.

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:46 am

Chief Executive Electoral Affairs Commission President Song Man Lei said on Friday that 13 local residents plan to run in the chief executive election next month and have picked up nomination forms.

Song did not reveal the names of the 13 potential chief executive candidates.

She made the remarks while speaking to reporters after a regular closed-door meeting of the commission at the Public Administration Building in Rua do Campo.

So far seven residents have publicly announced that they plan to run for chief executive, but it’s not known whether all of the seven potential candidates are among the 13 unnamed residents who have picked up their nomination forms that Song mentioned.

The seven pre-candidates who have publicly announced their possible runs are former Legislative Assembly (AL) President Ho Iat Seng; investment consultancy chief Leong Kuok Chao; high-profile protester Hoi Weng Chong (widely known as “the Man in Red”); unemployed resident Choi Teng Teng who told reporters that she had been in jail for four and a half years on “a false accusation charge”; Steven Siu Koi Weng, who told reporters that he is the honorary consul of Papua New Guinea in Macau; Chan Weng Fu, who owns the Macao Iao Kei Motor Air-conditioning & Engineering Company; and unemployed resident Lei Oi Chi.

The chief executive election will take place on August 25. The nomination period for chief executive candidates, which started on July 8, will end tomorrow. The chief executive election campaign period will run from August 10 to 23.

According to the Chief Executive Election Law, a pre-candidate must obtain at least 66 nominations from among the 400-member Chief Executive Election Committee, or 16.5 per cent of the total number of electors, to become a formal candidate able to run in the election

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Song said that until Thursday 13 residents planning to run for chief executive had picked up nomination forms.

Song noted that four of the 13 potential candidates have obtained contact information about the members of the Chief Executive Election Committee from her commission so that they could contact the electors to ask them for nominations, adding that one of the four have returned the contact list of the Chief Executive Election Committee members to her commission “due to his or her personal decision”.

Song said that after the nomination period ends, her commission would assess whether the nominees can be formally accepted as chief executive candidates, after which her commission will announce the names of the official candidates.

Q&A session on Aug 10

Song also said that her commission has decided to organise a session on August 10 – the first day of the chief executive election campaign period – for the officially accepted candidates to deliver their political platforms to the Chief Executive Election Committee members and answer their questions. Song said that her commission would ask all the Chief Executive Election Committee members to attend the session at 10 a.m. on that day. She did not mention the venue where the session will take place.

During the election campaign period, the Chief Executive Electoral Affairs Commission is required to organise at least one session for each candidate to deliver his or her political platform to all the Chief Executive Election Committee members and answer the electors’ questions, according to the Chief Executive Election Law.

Song added that candidates could choose not to participate in the political-platform-presentation-cum-Q&A session organised by her commission, and instead organise their own event to present his or her political platform. Song also added that it will not be compulsory for Chief Executive Election Committee members to attend the session organised by her commission.

According to the Macau Post Daily, Song also said that the session on August 10 will be broadcast live. Song said that her commission will implement specific arrangements for hearing-impaired electors to ensure that they are able to follow the session.

Currently, the Chief Executive Election Committee has only 399 members as Ho has resigned from the National People’s Congress (NPC) so that he can run for chief executive. According to the Chief Executive Election Law, all of Macau’s 12 NPC deputies are ex officio members of the committee. Late last month, the NPC Standing Committee approved the appointment of Macau businessman Kevin Ho King Lun as the 12th NPC deputy from Macau. He was the first-ranked alternate NPC deputy from Macau. According to the Chief Executive Election Law, Kevin Ho can formalise his membership of the Chief Executive Election Committee up to three days before the August 25 polling day.

Meanwhile, Ho Iat Seng will submit his at least 66 nomination forms to the Electoral Information Centre on the ground floor of the Public Administration Building this afternoon, his office announced on Friday. In all likelihood, the former president of the Legislative Assembly will be the only candidate in next month’s election and be sworn in as Macau’s third chief executive on December 20.

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:46 am

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