Chui’s election efforts to heat up

Monday, May 25, 2009
Issue 712, Page 1 & 4
Word count: 527
Published in: Macau Daily Times

Poyi (Natalie) Leung

Fernando Chui Sai On will today announce his election manifesto and arrangements of running for the third Chief Executive Election at 3pm in the Plaza Restaurant in ZAPE.

His election agent, lawyer Vong Hin Fai, will collect the nomination form at 10am in the Election Co-ordination Centre located on the sixth floor of the China Plaza.

Today is the first day for any possible candidates to obtain nomination forms.

According to the Chief Executive Electoral Law, in order to become an eligible candidate, one must acquire nominations from at least 50 members of the 300-member Election Committee.

Chief of Chui Sai On’s Campaign Office, Leong Sio Pui, told the Macau Daily Times over the phone yesterday that their team will try their best and is confident in getting enough support.

Asked whether the ex-social affairs and culture secretary has already obtained enough or most of the support he needs from the Election Committee, Mr Leong said that Chui has to first pick up a nomination form before striving for nominations, but “not the other way round”.

To date, Chui is the only person having officially declared his decision to run for the July 26 Chief Executive Election.

Mr Leong did not comment on whether his team would like to see more competitors in the race, but said that “we’re just doing our jobs” in preparing for the election campaign even when more people may stand for the election.

Chui’s Campaign Office in Kin Heng Long Commercial Building in NAPE is “basically ready”, as starting today nomination forms can be collected and thus relevant work must be implemented at the same time, Mr Leong said.

According to the Electoral Affairs Commission, the nomination period will be from June 12 to June 23, and nomination forms have to be collected and submitted between May 25 and June 23.

Election campaigns will be run from July 11 to July 24.

In addition, any principal government officials who wish to run for the election are required to resign from their posts on or before June 11.

On the other hand, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported on Saturday that the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Macau Branch cancelled a Macau resident’s saving account due to a “commercial decision” on May 21, just the next day after it was open.

It was reported that a group of Macau residents were trying to raise funds via the account in order to place a political advertisement in Hong Kong against “big clans and businessmen” become Macau’s next chief executive.

Despite the draft advertisement did not name any person, it said that “we are furious…and worried about Macau’s future in response to a descendant of a big clan in Macau having declared to run for the Chief Executive Election”.

It went on by mentioning some government controversies such as the over-budget 2005 East Asian Games, the damage on Macau’s multiple cultural heritage, as well as the corruption scandal of Ao Man Long.

The resident who launched the advertising campaign was quoted as saying that he believed “large Macau papers would be reluctant to run it [the advertisement]”.

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