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Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng eyes another term: report

A local media report, citing unnamed persons familiar with the matter, claims that Ho will be running for a second five-year term
  • Rumours regarding Ho’s candidacy have been growing following an announcement that he would be going on an extended vacation

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PUBLISHED

Chief Executive (CE) Ho Iat Seng has every intention of running for a second term, despite not having made any public announcement about his candidacy, according to a local media report that cites unidentified sources.

The report claims that Ho is waiting to register for the election after polling for the CE Election Committee concludes on 11 August. 

In recent days, speculation regarding Ho’s candidacy has been intensifying after an announcement on 4 July said he would be extending an original 13-day break – which began on 21 June – by another 16 days. That means Ho will be away until 19 July. The lengthy holiday has also given rise to concerns regarding Ho’s health. However, the anonymous sources said that Ho was in good shape and currently taking a break outside Macao. 

Despite being repeatedly questioned over whether or not he intends to stand for a second term, Ho has kept mum on the issue, telling local media at a press conference on 19 May that “no decision has been made” regarding his candidacy. 

During the same event, Ho also mentioned that he had not discussed the issue of a second term with the mainland government’s chief official in Macau and Hong Kong affairs, Xia Baolong. 

[See more: Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng’s long holiday is fuelling election speculation

“We have not yet reached this point in the election process and, therefore, no decision has been made yet,” the CE said at the time. 

The CE Election Committee polls on 11 August will involve the selection of 400 representatives from different local industries and organisations who will ultimately cast the votes to decide Macao’s next CE. 

A period of at least 60 days is then required before the election of the CE can be held, meaning that the earliest it can take place is on 13 October. It must also take place 60 days before the end of the incumbent CE’s term – or by 20 October.

Currently, no other high-profile individuals have officially announced their candidacy in the CE election, although some names that have been brought up include the civil service’s number two, André Cheong, who is the administration and justice secretary, as well as Wong Sio Chak, the security secretary. 

If Ho decides not to stand for reelection, he will be breaking with the convention set by former CEs such as Edmund Ho and Fernando Chui who both completed two five-year terms in office.

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