domingo, 3 de maio de 2009

Candidato "engripado"

Macau's health chief might be too busy to run for top office

Fox Yi Hu
South China Morning Post
May 1, 2009

Threats of swine flu may affect Macau's chief executive election by making it difficult for a popular potential candidate to resign from his government position.

Macau's secretary for social and cultural affairs, Fernando Chui Sai-on, is in charge of public health and is expected to stay in the job to lead Macau through the flu crisis.

Under Macau's law governing chief executive elections, a principal official is barred from running unless he or she resigns before the nomination period.

Political commentator Larry So Man-yum said Dr Chui would be faced with a dilemma if the flu threats worsened into something similar to the 2003 Sars outbreak. Dr Chui led Macau's successful battle against severe acute respiratory syndrome.

He said there were signs that Dr Chui's health team was working extremely hard to prevent an outbreak in Macau.

Dr Chui is one of two favourites to win the election, thanks to his prominent family background and governing experience. The other is chief prosecutor Ho Chio-meng, who has impressed the public with his handling of a huge graft scandal.

Macau Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau-wah has yet to announce a date for the election.

The Electoral Affairs Commission will announce the nomination period after the date is announced.

On Monday, Dr Chui spearheaded a cross-departmental meeting in Macau on how to deal with the threat of swine flu.

Veteran Macau observer Camoes Tam Chi-keung said he believed that Dr Chui's opponents had been using the issue to thwart his candidacy.

"There are people spreading word on the internet and in public that he should be wholehearted in saving people and not resign," Dr Tam said.

The election law says that a nomination period of no less than 12 days should end at least 30 days before election day. The poll must come 60 days before the incumbent chief executive's term expires.

As Mr Ho is due to step down on December 20, the election must be held no later than October 21, with the nomination process beginning in early September.

But it is widely believed that the election will be held before September due to Beijing's preference for a relatively long and stable period of transition in Macau.

Macau Daily News, the city's largest daily, said on Monday the election might be held in mid-July.

If that's the case, Dr Chui would have to resign early next month.

Dr Chui comes from one of Macau's few ruling clans and has seven years of ministerial experience. His late uncle, Chui Tak-kei, was a hardcore Communist Party supporter when Macau was under Portuguese rule. An influential family background is seen as vital to win over various interest groups in Macau.

Sem comentários: