Macau Lawyers Association (AAM) President Jorge Neto Valente said Monday that he had no intention of running in next month’s chief executive (CE) election. He confirmed, however, that he had nominated a candidate for the CE election without further elaboration.
He made the remarks in a phone interview with The Macau Post Daily yesterday after government broadcaster TDM ran a story on its website, saying that Neto Valente went to the Public Administration Building in Rua do Campo to get a nomination form.
TDM’s story on the website initially carried a sentence saying that the prominent lawyer may run in the election, but which has since been deleted.
Neto Valente told The Macau Post Daily that he went there to hand in his photos as a requirement for members of the Chief Executive Election Committee, of which he is a member.
“All the voters – the members of the college [CE Election Committee] – have to submit [photos]. Some people may send them by mail … some people may hand them in personally,” he said, speaking in English. “It happened that I was nearby and I decided to go in and hand in my photos and at the same time I asked, ‘What about the forms to propose [nominate] candidates?’ and they [staff members] gave me the forms. That’s all.”
Neto Valente said that he got the forms to nominate his preferred candidate – not to ask members of the CE Election Committee to nominate him. He also said that more information about the candidate he nominated would be announced in due course.
The CE election will be held on August 31. So far, only Fernando Chui Sai On, the incumbent chief executive, has stated that he will stand for re-election. Chui needs nominations from at least 66 members of the CE Election Commission to have his candidacy recognised, or 16.5 percent of the total number of electors.
Observers regard Chui’s possibly uncontested re-election as a fait accompli.
Chui is currently on vacation.
Neto Valente is a long-time local Portuguese resident. He acquired Chinese nationality after Macau’s change in administration in 1999. Neto Valente, who is in his late 60s and heads his own law firm, has lived in Macau since 1970. The former lawmaker is the managing director of Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG). Theoretically, he would be entitled to be a CE candidate.
Meanwhile, CE Electoral Management Committee President Song Man Lei said Monday after a regular meeting that the chief executive election would be held at Macau Dome in Cotai.(macaunews/macaupost)