Chief Executive election | Commentators bemoan single-candidate charade

Social commentators are criticizing the prospect of Macau facing yet another single-candidate election for the next Chief Executive, adding that they believe the position has already been filled.

Recently, local commentators Wong Tung and Choi Chi U made some remarks about the prospect of a single-candidate election. A guest on a New Macau Association Facebook program, Wong firstly said that Macau’s election culture is coherent with the mainland’s culture.

“We were handed over. We are influenced by China, but not Portugal anymore,” said Wong. “If it is going to be just one person, it is really boring. Regardless of who becomes the next CE, I hope that person can take some courage and do something [for] Macau people.”

In particular, Wong and Choi were addressing the news of the first declared candidate for CE, Ho Iat Seng.

In Wong’s opinion, the election of the next Chief Executive was decided before Ho announced his decision.

“I hope that at least you [the local government] are going to make a good show for the public. The first CE election was the best show. No matter how fake it is, a show must be made to create an atmosphere of competition,” said Wong.

When commenting on Ho, and probably contender Secretary for Finance and Economy Lionel Leong, Wong remarked that both have a Chinese Communist Party background.

“They are both politically correct,” said Wong. “Lionel Leong will not bet on [his candidacy if he] is unclear about the situation.”

However, despite the deep conviction in Ho’s appointment as the fifth CE of Macau, the commentators still expressed their concerns about Ho’s administrative capability.

“He lacks administrative experience; he is just a freshman in politics. Everybody knows what the National People’s Congress does. No matter for how long he has been the Chairman of AL, someone can’t do a good job [as the CE] simply by understanding both regions’ legal systems. I cannot see Ho having the ability to solve local problems,” said Choi.

Both commentators not only consider Leong a better option for the next Chief Executive because of his experience in administration and in finance, but they also believe that Leong’s age can be considered an advantage.

“Ho is not as young as Leong. Even if Leong is defeated in this election, at least he can build some groundwork for the next one. Beijing didn’t say that Macau would have one Chief Executive for 10 years,” said Wong.

In the end, Wong remarked that in Macau’s culture, “it is better to know people than know how to read and write.”

Categories Macau