CHOOSING THE NEW CE IN MACAU

It is widely known that "the Chief Executive is selected by election or through consultations held locally and be appointed by the Central People's Government."  But what are these local consultations?  Well, they are taking place right now in assembling what is called the Election Committee.

The process is not altogether different from what happens in Hong Kong. While Hong Kong's Election Committee is comprised of 800 representatives chosen from 28 functional constituencies, religious organizations and ex officio members taken from the government, Macau's Election Committee is an even more private affair.

The 300 Election Committee members in Macau are made up of 100 members representing the industrial, commercial and financial sectors, 80 from the labor, social services and religious sectors and 80 from the cultural, educational, professional and sports sectors. Deputies to the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference have 12 seats each. The remaining 16 seats are allocated to the Legislative Assembly, with the members choosing their representatives via a poll.

The current CE Edmund Ho hasn't announced an "election" date but it is looking like it will be in August.  The two leading contenders are Ho Chio-meng, the Macau Chief Prosecutor, and the Cultural Minister Fernando Chui Sai-on.  Not surprisingly, Beijing holds both in high regards.  We continue to view the election as a positive for the visa situation in Macau which should provide a tailwind for the new CE.  2009 is also the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China and the 10th anniversary of Macau returning to China rule.  All of these are potential growth catalysts.