Macau chief's handout vow

Local | Phoenix Un 26 Aug 2019

Ho Iat-seng, Macau's Chief Executive-elect, has vowed to continue giving cash handouts to residents and improve the efficiency of public administration.

Ho, 62, was the lone candidate in the race and was elected after obtaining 392 out of 400 votes yesterday.

Despite having no competition, he still needed at least 201 votes to be elected.

Ho, the former Legislative Assembly president and ex-National People's Congress Standing Committee member, was the only candidate as he got nominations from 378 members in June.

The election was held yesterday at the Macau East Asian Games Dome.

All 400 Election Committee members were present.

Electoral Affairs Commission president Song Man-lei announced at 10.25am that all 400 committee members had voted, and the ballot count started immediately.

It took 20 minutes and Ho received 392 votes out of 400, or 98 percent of all the votes.

Seven other votes were null, while the remaining one was void.

Beijing still needs to confirm Ho's election. Once this occurs, he will assume office on December 20, the 20th anniversary of Macau's handover.

Ho held a press conference after being elected, saying that even though he is feeling the pressure, the high percentage of votes will encourage him.

He said his first task will be improving the efficiency of public administration as he has heard numerous complaints from many social groups.

One of the Macau government's most well-known policies is the Wealth Partaking Scheme, which has been in effect since 2008, and Ho confirmed it will continue.

"The policy has been effective, especially in helping the livelihoods of those at the grassroots level," he said.

On the fugitive bill saga in Hong Kong, Ho believes it will end soon.

"The typhoon will stop one day, but the saga in Hong Kong has impacted Macau, especially our tourism, as some hotels are already cutting their room rates," Ho said.

Incumbent Macau Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai-on, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office spokesman Yang Guang all congratulated Ho.

Ho is the son of industrialist Ho Tin. He has been a member of the NPC Standing Committee since 2001 and became an indirectly elected legislator in 2009. In 2013, he began serving as the Legislative Assembly's president.

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