Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac said that he will not seek re-election in the upcoming election for local deputies to the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC).
Leong made the remarks when speaking to reporters after submitting an application to register as a member of an electoral council that will elect twelve local deputies to the 13th NPC later this year.
The submission of registration applications began on Monday at an office temporarily set up by the Standing Committee of the National People Congress (NPCSC) at the Macau Science Centre in Nape. The registration procedure will last until July 25.
“As my role in society has changed over the past two years, I desire to focus on my work as Macau’s secretary for economy and finance. Therefore, 1 won’t be running in the 13th NPC election,” said Leong.
According to the Macau Post Daily, Leong has been a local NPC deputy for the past two five-year terms. He was appointed secretary for economy and finance in 2014.
When asked by reporters whether he was preparing for a higher position in the local government, Leong merely reaffirmed that he has decided not to seek re-election in order to focus on his work as policy secretary, such as integrating Macau into the national Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA).
Leong, 55, holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the public University of Waterloo in Canada. Some local commentators have mentioned Leong as a possible chief executive candidate in 2019.
According to the official method used for the election of local deputies to the 13lh NPC, the electoral council will consist of members of the local electoral council for the 12th NPC, members of the 12Ul Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, local citizens holding Chinese nationality on the electoral committee for Macau’s 4th chief executive, and local citizens holding Chinese nationality in the 5th Legislative Assembly, excluding those who do not want to serve on the new electoral council.
There are over 500 eligible applicants for the electoral council for the 13th local NPC deputies. The NPC serves a term of five years. The 13th NPC will take office next March. Macau’s current 12 NPC deputies are Lei Pui Lam, Paula Ling Hsiao Yun, Kou Hoi In, Lok Po, Jose Chui Sai Peng, Leong lok Wa, Lionel Leong Vai Tac, Ho Iat Seng, Lao Ngai Leong, Io Hong Meng, Ho Sut Heng and long Weng Ian. Ho Iat Seng, speaker of the Legislative Assembly, is Macau’s only member of the NPC Standing