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Jorge Chiang announces his intention to contest Macao’s Chief Executive election 

The businessman is one of the first people to have publicly expressed an interest in becoming Macao’s leader, as the city prepares for an election in October
  • He may find it difficult to earn enough nominations, however, as all previous incumbents have run for reelection as sole candidates

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Jorge Chiang, the head of the Macau Institutionalism Association and the Macao Lotus Commerce Association, has become one of the first individuals to publicly declare his intention to run for the Chief Executive (CE) election, which is due to take place in October.

In a Facebook post published yesterday, the entrepreneur stated that “the old system of management in Macao is no longer suitable for the developments of the times,” adding that “it has even become a barrier to future development.” He said that Macao needed to have the boldness to “innovate” and to “start afresh” and that he would establish a responsible and clean government, in a society governed by the rule of law, putting people first. 

However, Chiang now needs to secure enough nominations from the Election Committee members before he can officially become a candidate. 

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

The businessman may face an uphill battle, as all CE elections since 2004 have only had one sole candidate. In the 2009 poll, Fernando Chui went on to become the sole nominee by garnering 286 votes from the 300 Election Committee members, leaving other interested parties unable to secure the minimum 50 nominations to join the race. 

The incumbent CEs in the 2004 and 2014 elections were both reelected each time uncontested. The only CE election in Macao that has had more than one candidate running was the inaugural poll that took place in 1999, with Edmund Ho earning almost 82 percent of the votes, defeating his opponent Stanley Au. 

The current CE, Ho Iat Seng, has so far not publicly announced his intention to join the race, although there are reports, citing anonymous sources close to the leader, that claim he will declare his candidacy in mid-August, after polls for the CE Election Committee close on 11 August. 

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