Ho Iat Seng, the lone contender of the fifth-term chief executive election of the Macau Special Administrative Region, was declared winner here on Sunday.
Ho, if approved by China’s central government, is set to take the helm of the SAR government at the end of this year.
At the conclusion of the voting, Ho told those at present including voters and media workers that he will spare no effort to uphold the principles of “one country, two systems” “Macau people governing Macau” and “a high degree of autonomy.”
“I will unswervingly carry out my duties and governance in strict accordance with the constitution and the basic law to serve the people, the SAR and the country,” Ho said.
A total of 400 votes were cast by all the members of the CE election committee, among which Ho won 392 votes in favor, seeing a dominant 98 percent winning rate. The CE election management committee, which oversees the election, announced after the voting procedure that seven members cast abstention votes and one vote was declared as invalid.
Macau’s new CE, according to the SAR’s CE election law, is elected by the present 400-member election committee. The members are locals from all walks of social life, including business, political, cultural and religious sectors.
During the prior nomination period, Ho had dominantly acquired 379 endorsements from the election committee members, making the election a one-horse race.
Influential locals were quick to voice their support for the CE- designate. Cheong U, one of the election committee member and the SAR’s former Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, told media that he wishes that Ho and his government would continue the region’s counter-corruption efforts, in a bid to build a society based on the rule of law.
Ho Ion Sang,another member of the election committee and a local lawmaker as well, hailed the CE-designate for his attention to appeals from the society and focus on people’s welfare including housing, medicine and education.
Incumbent CE Chui Sai On extended congratulations on Sunday to Ho.
A press release from his office said Chui believes that the would-be successor has the trust of both the central government and the Macau people, given his governing capability.
Chui wishes that Ho would uphold the principle of “one country, two systems” and usher the region into a new development era.
Ho told the press conference following the voting that he would continue the present government’s policy and strive to address social issues including housing and employment.
He expressed gratitude to the election committee, attributing his winning mainly to the agreeing of most voters on his election motto “Unity and Effort, Change and Innovation”.
During the election campaign, Ho and his team visited communities to understand the actual development of the society, and organized over 70 meetings and other activities with social groups, members of chief executive election committee, and media representatives to hear the concerns of the public, and share his opinion with them.
Local observers say Ho and his government is expected to shoulder responsibilities to push forward the practice of “one country, two systems,” and to safeguard national sovereignty, safety and interests, so as to maintain the long-term prosperity and stability of the Macau SAR.
Ho awaits firstly the confirmation by Macau’s Court of Final Appeal and afterwards the appointment by China’s central government, to officially take the chief executive office, according to the SAR’s Basic Law.
The term of the incumbent CE Chui Sai On will end on Dec. 19 this year, and the new CE will start his five-year term on the following day.