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Country Report Macau

On December 1st Macau's chief executive, Fernando Chui, announced a new government line-up.

Prior to the latest reshuffle, many members of the Executive Council (Exco, the cabinet) had held their posts since the handover of Macau from Portuguese to Chinese rule in late 1999. The local government has been under pressure from the central authorities to refresh Macau's governing team in order to deal with a more challenging political and economic environment. Economic growth has slumped in recent months, and political protests have become more frequent. The changes were sweeping: all five secretaries in the outgoing Exco were replaced, and a number of fresh appointments to non-Exco positions were made. The new officials are experienced, but the complete overhaul may cause some bureaucratic problems in the short term. The appointments come shortly before a visit to Macau by China's president, Xi Jinping, who will oversee the swearing in of the newly installed officials on December 19th.

A key priority for the government will be to head off growing demands for political reform. The appointment of Sonia Chan as the new secretary for administration and justice may reflect the role that she played as a data-protection official in limiting the scope of a private referendum organised by pro-democracy campaigners in August. The new secretary for economy and finance, Lionel Leong, is the only one of the ten new officials not to have served as a civil servant previously, reflecting the need for an appointee with business experience.
Country Report Macau

Cabinet line-up overhauled
Impact on the forecast
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