Ho Iat Seng almost certain to be next Chief Executive of Macau

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) in Beijing approve a request by Macau Legislative Assembly (AL) President Ho Iat Seng to resign from the nation’s top legislature clearing the way for his bid for chief executive of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR).

The approval of Ho’s resignation came after he announced last week that he had decided to run in the chief executive election.

The election is slated to take place in August.

So far no other chief executive candidate has come forward. There was only one candidate in the last three chief executive elections.

The English newspaper Macau Post Daily said in its cover that Ho Iat Seng decides to run for Chief Executive. Also the Macau Daily Times have in the first page a photo of Ho with the tittle “Candidate number one.

The Portuguese newspaper Hoje Macau mention the announcement by Ho saying “Palace in sight” and the Tribuna de Macau newspaper wrote “Ho took the step that was missing”.

The newspaper Ponto Final wrote in the first page that the announcement by Ho is “the prelude to a government of continuity”.

Ho was first elected as an NPC Standing Committee member in the fourth session of the 9th NPC in 2001. He had been an NPC Standing Committee member ever since – the only one from Macau – until now.

Ho, an entrepreneur and indirectly-elected lawmaker representing the city’s business sector, made the announcement of his decision to run for the city’s top job during a press briefing last Thursday.

Ho said that he had decided to run in the chief executive election as he wants to promote Macau’s economic diversification and its participation in the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA) by making good use of his multiyear experience in legislative tasks in both the NPC Standing Committee and the Macau Legislative Assembly.

Ho also said it was important to set up a good government team as “it is impossible for one person to finish all the many tasks”.

According to the Chief Executive Election Law, any member of the 400-member Chief Executive Election Committee – of which the 12 local NPC deputies are ex-officio members – is barred from running for the post of chief executive.

Ho, born in Macau in 1957, was first elected as an indirectly-elected legislator representing the city’s business sector in 2009 and served as the vice-president of the legislature in 2009-2013.

He was re-elected as an indirectly-elected lawmaker in 2013 and was elected by his peers in the legislative hemicycle as the president of the legislature for the 2013-2017 term.

He was re-elected as an indirectly-elected lawmaker and re-elected as the legislature’s president in 2017. Ho was a member of the Executive Council – the local government’s top advisory body – from 2004 to 2009.

Ho said during the press conference that only after NPC decision on his resignation request would he decide whether he would resign from the local legislature or merely suspend his seat.

The election of the members of the Chief Executive Election Committee will be held on June 16.

According to the Chief Executive Election Law, the 400-member Chief Executive Election Committee comprises 120 members representing the first sector (comprising the industrial, commercial and financial segments), 115 members representing the second sector (comprising the cultural, educational, professional and sports segments), 115 members representing the third sector (comprising the labour, social services and religious segments), and 50 members representing the fourth sector, which comprises: 1) 22 representatives chosen from among the city’s lawmakers; 2) the 12 local deputies to the NPC; 3) 14 representatives chosen from among local deputies to the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC); and 4) two representatives chosen from among members of the city’s municipal organs (Municipal Affairs Bureau).

Macau’s legislature has 33 members. There are 12 Macau deputies to the NPC.

After Ho’s resignation, local businessman Kevin Ho King Lun, an alternate NPC deputy, is set to join the national legislature as a full deputy.

However, his “elevation” to full deputy is only slated to be formalised during the NPC Standing Committee’s next meeting after two months.

Kevin Ho is a nephew of Edmund Ho Hau Wah, Macau’s first chief executive, now a vice-chairman of the National Committee of the CPPCC.

The families of Kevin Ho and Ho Iat Seng are not related.

There are 37 Macau members of the CPPCC National Committee.(CLBrief)

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