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Macao’s Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng will announce candidacy in mid-August: report

Another Macao media outlet has cited an unidentified source who claims the CE will be announcing his reelection bid in mid-August
  • The source said that Ho’s current holiday is an opportunity for him to recharge for the upcoming campaign and to gather more opinions

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The Chief Executive (CE), Ho Iat Seng, is planning to declare his intention to run for reelection in “mid-August,” according to an anonymous source who spoke with local Portuguese-language newspaper Jornal Tribuna de Macau

The unnamed person, who is purportedly close to Ho, claimed that Macao’s top official was taking an extended 29-day leave until 19 July in order to “rest for the election campaign.” 

Ho “is using the holiday to give more impetus to the election campaign and to gain a better understanding of the people by gathering even more of their opinions,” the source was reported as saying. 

Over the past week, there has been mounting speculation over whether or not Ho intends to run for a second five-year term. 

Despite the intense scrutiny, Ho has so far not publicly declared his candidacy plans, telling reporters during a press conference on 19 May that “we have not yet reached this point in the election process and, therefore, no decision has been made yet.” 

[See more: Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng eyes another term: report]

He noted at the same event that the topic of a second term had not been broached with Xia Baolong, the central government’s leading official for Macao and Hong Kong affairs. 

Ho’s silence, however, has also fanned rumours that other members of his cabinet such as André Cheong and Wong Sio Chak could replace him. 

With the polling for the CE Election Committee not scheduled until 11 August, there are still several months before a date needs to be set for the CE election. 

Under the current guidelines, Ho can only choose between 13 or 20 October as the date of the CE election, as polling must take place on a Sunday. As well, the rules stipulate that the vote must take place 60 days before the end of the incumbent’s term. Ho took office on 20 December 2019, with his first term set to conclude on 19 December 2024. 

Ho’s administration has been largely defined by the Covid-19 pandemic, with JTM’s source noting that the CE hopes that with a second post-pandemic term, it will “give strength to the next mandate.” 

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