Chinese casino hub Macao's elite choose new leader

MACAO — An elite pro-Beijing panel on Sunday chose a new leader for the Chinese casino gambling hub Macao.

Ho Iat-seng was picked to be the next chief executive of the former Portuguese colony in a selection process with no other candidates.

Ho, a pro-establishment businessman and politician, will become the city's third leader since China took control of Macau in 1999 after more than four centuries of Portuguese rule.

Ho will replace the city's current leader, Chui Sai-on, whose term expires in December.

Macao and nearby Hong Kong are former European colonies that were handed back to Beijing, becoming Chinese special administrative regions that retain considerable control over their own affairs under a formula known as "one country, two systems."

Residents of the two cities can elect some politicians but the top leader is handpicked by an elite committee.

While Hong Kong has been gripped by two months of turbulent anti-government protests demanding full democracy, Ho's anointment went ahead with little controversy, highlighting Macau's much weaker opposition movement. Officials said the 62-year-old Ho garnered 392 votes from Macau's 400-member "election committee."

He said he was confident that Hong Kong's protest movement, which began with calls to scrap an unpopular China extradition bill, would not last.

"The protests against the extradition bill will end," Ho said at a press conference, adding that the demonstrations were taking a toll on the enclave's tourism industry.

Macao, an hour by high-speed ferry from Hong Kong, is the world's biggest casino gambling market, raking in revenues dwarfing the Las Vegas Strip and fueled by high rolling mainland Chinese gamblers wagering at glitzy resorts run by companies including Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts.

___

This version corrects to show that Ho will be Macao's third post-colonial leader, not fifth.

Related News

Hawaii authorities urge awareness of raw food risk

Aug 17, 2016

Hawaii authorities are urging diners to be aware of the risks of eating raw and undercooked food after they traced a hepatitis A outbreak to frozen scallops served raw at a sushi restaurant chain

Are France's burkini bans sexist, or liberating?

Aug 17, 2016

Male officials are dictating what women can wear on French beaches _ and people across a wide swath of French society say that's a good thing

Target cuts outlook as it sees fewer customers in stores

Aug 17, 2016

Target cut its profit forecast and a key sales outlook amid stiffer competition and its own stumbles in areas like groceries

Broaden News

Travel Stylo is an independent online travel website started by a group of friends who love traveling together. With Travel Stylo, you can travel with style.

Contact us: sales[at]travelstylo.com