Macau avoids vote to choose electors for chief

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 26 April, 2009, 12:00am

No poll will be needed to choose the 300-member panel that will elect Macau's next chief executive, the city's Electoral Affairs Commission announced yesterday.

That's because precisely 254 people registered to contest the 254 places on the panel open to representatives of seven functional constituencies, making a vote unnecessary.

The other 46 seats on the Election Committee require no election. Twelve of them go to Macau's 12 delegates to the National People's Congress and six are for religious leaders, for a total of 272.

Another 12 are reserved for the 30-plus delegates to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, who will conduct an internal poll today to choose their representatives. A further 16 seats will go to Macau legislators, who will choose their representatives through a poll among themselves, also today.

Chu Kin, chairman of the Electoral Affairs Commission and a judge of the Court of Final Appeal, said a list of 300 voters would be formally announced this week. 'We'll affirm the list of 300 people and the first stage [of the chief executive election] will end,' Mr Justice Chu said. 'The next thing is for the chief executive to announce the date for the election.'

Mr Chu said the second stage of the chief executive election would formally begin once the chief executive, Edmund Ho Hau-wah, announced the election date.

He added that candidates to succeed Mr Ho in December would emerge only once the second stage formally begins.

'Only then can we know the candidates,' he said.

Yesterday Mr Ho said potential candidates eyeing the top job would reveal themselves 'at appropriate times'.

Although the election date is undecided, the Electoral Affairs Commission said yesterday that the Macau Dome stadium, known as the Macau Egg, on the Cotai Strip, would probably be the venue for the vote.

The chief executive sidestepped the question whether a candidate with administrative experience would hold an edge in the election, saying only that anyone eligible under the Basic Law could join the race.

The question appeared to be aimed at gauging Mr Ho's view of the chances of Secretary for Social and Cultural Affairs Fernando Chui Sai-on succeeding him. Dr Chui is widely expected to run for the job.

Nearly there

Macau has filled 272 of the 300 seats on its Election Committee

Macau CPPCC delegates and legislators will hold internal polls today to fill the remaining: 28