Legislative Assembly (AL) President Ho Iat Seng told reporters on Wednesday that he’s still setting up his election campaign office and forming his campaign team consisting of “a group of like-minded friends”, adding that he planned to officially announce his run in the chief executive election at the end of this month or in early June.
Ho made the remarks on the sidelines of a reception hosted by the Macau Holy House of Mercy at MGM in Nape to celebrate its 450th anniversary.
Responding to a reporter’s question about his preparations for the upcoming chief executive election, Ho said he initially planned to formally announce his candidacy around May 20. However, he pointed out, his election campaign office is still being set up and he is still forming his election campaign team.
Ho said that he would officially announce his campaign platform after his campaign office and team are ready, adding that the announcement would be made at the end of this month or early next month.
In response to a reporter’s question about his confidence of being elected as the next chief executive, Ho said: “I am confident about anything I do.”
According to Ho, he can’t reveal too much about his political platform before the commencement of the nomination process for chief executive candidates, adding that he cares about matters of public concern, such as housing, public transport, medical care, and education.
The date of the commencement of the nomination process for chief executive candidates will be announced by the Electoral Affairs Committee for the Election of the Chief Executive (EACCE) in due course.
So far, Ho, a businessman and veteran lawmaker and community leader, is the only candidate for Macao’s third chief executive.
Ho also pointed out that “it’s not a good thing that Macao is a single-industry economy”, adding that he planned to work hard to promote Macao’s economic diversification.
Moreover, when asked by a reporter whether he would retain any of Macao’s 5 policy secretary in his government, Ho said it was too early to say, adding that he was concentrating on preparing his chief executive election campaign.
Ho, an indirectly-elected lawmaker representing the city’s business sector, is the sole Macao member of the elite Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC). He will celebrate his 62nd birthday next month.
In February, Ho said that he was “actively” considering running in the chief executive election. Two months later, Ho held an informal press briefing to announce his decision to run for chief executive and said he would tender his resignation from the NPC.
In April, the NPC Standing Committee in Beijing passed the decision to approve Ho’s request to resign from the nation’s top legislature.
Observers expect Ho to resign from the Macao Legislative Assembly in the run-up to the start of the chief executive election campaign.
The chief executive election will be held in August.
According to Article 46 of the Macao Basic Law, Macao’s chief executive must be a Chinese citizen aged at least 40 who has ordinarily resided in Macao for a continuous period of not less than 20 years.
Ho told reporters on Wednesday that he relinquished his Portuguese nationality last month. However, he was quick to add that he had never used his Portuguese passport after Macao’s return to the motherland in December 1999.