The president of Macau Lawyers Association (AAM) Jorge Neto Valente said he favors having more than one candidate for the Chief Executive (CE) post in the upcoming election. In Neto Valente’s opinion, a contested election would be preferable and a sign of vitality within political institutions.
“It is always healthy to have competition,” the lawyer, who has run successively unopposed as head of the Macau Lawyers Association, told TDM Radio on the sidelines of a seminar on the Land Law. Nonetheless, he said that it was still “too early” to anticipate whether the much-speculated scenario will happen.
For the time being the two names most widely touted as potential candidates to the post are the president of the Legislative Assembly, Ho Iat Seng, and the Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong. However, Neto Valente suggested there were more possibilities, alluding to the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Alexis Tam, as another of the potential candidates.
The last Chief Executive election to see more than a single candidate for the post was Macau’s very first in 1999, which resulted in the first mandate of Edmund Ho.
The procedures for the CE election have already started with several meetings of Electoral Affairs Commission for the Chief Executive Election having been held. The Commission is chaired once more by judge Song Man Lei.
The body informed that the submission of registration forms by candidates is scheduled to happen between April 8 and 23, and that legal voters should register their representatives authorized to nominate candidates for the Chief Executive Election Committee.
After that the candidates for the Chief Executive Election Committee have until May 7 to submit their applications to the Electoral Affairs Commission.
Principal officials of the government, members of the Chief Executive Council, judges, judicial assistants, members of the Commission, members of the Committee, and public administration staff may be nominated as candidates unless they have resigned or retired by the nomination date.
The Electoral Affairs Commission is responsible for coordinating the process to choose the 400-member Chief Executive Election Committee, and thereafter to coordinate the actual election of a new Chief Executive. This must be determined by June 16.
Neto Valente has been an active participant on the Election Committee in previous elections. RM