Macau, China, 14 May – The State Council of the People’s Republic of China today approved a move by Fernando Chui Sai On to resign from his current position of Macau Secretary of Social Affairs and Culture to seek a nomination for the post of Chief Executive of Macau.
The Macau Government Information Bureau said in a statement that Fernando Chui Sai On submitted his resignation on Monday to current Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah, who is going to complete two mandates of five years each, and therefore will not be able to run again.
On the same day Edmund Ho sent a letter to Beijing requesting the dismissal of Fernando Chui Sai On. The request was accepted today, a formal process necessary before the government official can step down.
Edmund Ho recognised Chui Sai On in his efforts in the development of Macau and said that the former secretary’s work was “very positive and he always took the interests of the territory and its residents into account from the first day he took office”.
Chui Sai On’s spot in the Macau government will not be occupied by another secretary as the current government will only be in power until 19 December. Therefore, the responsibility of social affairs and culture will be taken on by another government official.
After leaving his post, Chui Sai On is taking with him two secretaries, a driver and an advisor to work with him on his campaign. The former government official is going to create a structure and initiate formal contacts to run for Chief Executive, as officially he will only be able to run if he gets at least 50 signatures from the 300-member election committee.
Fernando Chui Sai On has been mentioned as one of likely successors of Edmund Ho, along with Francis Tam Pak Yun, the Macau Secretary for Economy and Finance, and Ho Chiu Meng, Prosecutor General of the Public Prosecutions Office, both of whom are no longer likely to run, according to political observers.
Chui Sai On is not going run alone for Chief Executive, as there are other potential candidates, such as David Chow, member of the Macau Legislative Assembly and businessman, who has already said that he is running.
The date for the Macau elections has been set for 26 July.