Ex-lawmaker Paul Chan Wai Chi and incumbent José Pereira Coutinho coincidentally submitted their respective nominations for the upcoming parliamentary election one after another yesterday.
Chan was a lawmaker in the Legislative Assembly between 2013 and 2017. He was referred to as the “full-attendance lawmaker” during that legislative term, as he had not missed one single plenary meeting.
Unlike in previous elections where he ran as number two on the list, this time Chan will top his list with Lei Kuok Keong, an alcoholic beverage wholesaler, following him.
Lei is not new to the parliamentary election either. He ran in the two previous elections – in 2013 and 2017 – with Chan under two different arrangements. In the 2013 election, they ran in the list of incumbent lawmaker António Ng Kuok Cheong. In 2017, they ran in the list of Sulu Sou.
This time, the duo will run on their own under the name “New Macau Progress Association.”
Both Ng and Sou will likely have their own list this year. Along with Coutinho, who is also considered part of the democratic camp, there will likely be four lists representing the same camp.
When asked if the competition will be fierce, Chan, a history teacher and the editor of the Catholic gazette, said that they would rely on voters’ choice and believe they will make decisions suitable for themselves.
With regard to the topics on which they are campaigning, Chan replied, that, in previous years, Macau has seen a lot of problems. If they get elected, they will focus on housing, transport, education, gambling development and urban planning.
After Chan and Lei submitted their nominations, Coutinho submitted his. He will lead a team to run in this election under the name “New Hope”, which is the name he used before.
The incumbent lawmaker has garnered 500 nominations.
He stressed that this is the most difficult year for garnering nominations because the Electoral Affairs Commission has warned, or reminded, civil servants to be careful when making a nomination “since this is a representation of political stand.”
Coutinho has been focusing on civil servant voters.
He disclosed that his team will focus on topics such as: transparency of the government, with particular mentions in public procurement; the transparency of the parliament, as all committee meetings are closed-door; and the morale of civil servants, particularly that of the security forces. AL