The 5 members of the Electoral Affairs Commission for the Chief Executive Election took their oaths of office during a ceremony conducted by Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On at Government Headquarters Wednesday.
Song Man Lei, a judge of the three-member Court of Final Appeal (TUI), was sworn in as the commission’s president. Song is Macau’s highest-ranking female judge. The Court of Final Appeal is the highest court of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR).
Assistant Prosecutor-General of the Public Prosecution Office (MP) Chan Tsz King, Court of Second Instance (TSI) Judge Tong Hio Fong, Public Administration and Civil Service (SAFP) Director Kou Peng Kuan, and Macau Government Information Bureau (GCS) Victor Chan Chi Ping were sworn in as members of the commission.
After the ceremony, Song told reporters that the commission will strictly follow the Macau Basic Law and the Chief Executive Election Law and carry out its tasks in a “fair, open and loyal” way, based on the principles of impartiality and transparency.
According to Song, no matter how many candidates are nominated, they will be treated equally in accordance with the law. She admitted that there will be “one or two” candidates vying for Macau’s top post.
Song said that “transparency” was the main objective of the process of electing Chui’s successor. She also said that the date of the election was still unknown. However, she pointed out that the election can only take 60 days after the election of the 400 members of the Chief Executive Election Committee on June 16. She was quick to add that the decision about the chief executive election date rests with Chui, according to the Chief Executive Election Law.
Song also told the media that the commission’s first meeting could be held as early as tomorrow, adding that she was planning to hold one meeting every week.
She pledged that the commission will brief the public about its activities after each meeting.
The commission will oversee the election of the Chief Executive Election Committee and the election of Macau’s third chief executive. Chui’s second and constitutionally final consecutive 5-year term will end at midnight on December 19. Chui succeeded Edmund Ho Hau Wah on December 20, 2009.
The commission is also tasked with coordinating the process of selecting the 400 members of the Chief Executive Election Committee.
Chief executive candidates must be nominated by at least 66 members of the committee, while each committee member can only nominate one chief executive candidate. Theoretically, up to six candidates could be nominated by the committee.
In the four previous chief executive elections, three were contested by just one candidate, while there were two candidates in the 1999 election.