2,200 apply to join selection body

More than 2,200 people have applied for the 200-member selection committee that will pick Macau's first post-handover chief executive for confirmation by the mainland.

A total of 2,291 Macau permanent residents submitted forms which are expected to be considered by the Macau SAR Preparatory Committee early next month. The chief executive will be elected in late May.

Banker-legislator Edmund Ho Hau-wah is widely tipped to become Macau's first post-handover chief executive, taking control on December 20.

According to the Macau Basic Law, the selection committee will have 60 members representing industry, trade and finance; 50 members representing culture, education, the professions and other social sectors; 50 representing labour, social services, religions and other sectors; and 40 present and former political office-bearers, namely Macau deputies to the National People's Congress and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

The selection committee will recommend its choice of chief executive to Beijing for formal appointment.

According to the Basic Law, the chief executive must be a local Chinese national, aged at least 40, who has 'habitually' lived in Macau for at least 20 consecutive years.