Legislative Assembly (AL) President Ho Iat Seng says he “doesn’t know yet” whether he will run in next year’s chief executive election.
The current five-year term of Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On, who was re-elected in 2014, will end on December 19, 2019. According to Article 48 of the Macau Basic Law, the chief executive “may serve for not more than two consecutive terms.”
Ho, who is attending the first session of the 13th National People’s Congress in Beijing, made the remarks on Saturday when asked by the media whether he plans to run for chief executive next year. Ho is among the 12 local deputies to the 13th NPC.
Ho, an indirectly-elected lawmaker representing the city’s business sector, is the sole Macau member of the outgoing 12th NPC Standing Committee. The members of the 13th NPC Standing Committee will be chosen during the ongoing first session of the 13th NPC which will end on March 20.
When asked by reporters on Saturday whether he knew of anyone planning to run for chief executive next year, Ho replied “I don’t know.”
Ho was then asked whether he knew which state leader will visit Macau for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) next year. He replied “I still don’t know. It’s a matter which will take place one to two year’s time. It’s still too early now for us to know.”
The 20th anniversary will coincide with the swearing-in of Macau’s third chief executive.
Reporters went on to ask Ho whether he wants to run for the city’s top job. He replied: “I don’t know yet.”
The chief executive was elected in 2014 by a 400-member committee. If, as generally expected, the government does not propose amendments to the method of electing the chief executive, the method for the next election of Macau’s head of government in 2019 will remain unchanged.
Some local media speculated in the run-up to the 2009 chief executive election that Ho would run for Macau’s top job at that time. He did not.