Revised Chief Executive Electoral Law to come into effect on October 15

Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Issue 476, Page 3
Word count: 510
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The Chief Executive Electoral Law was passed at the Legislative Assembly yesterday which will be in force on October 15 this year.

The approval means that tougher sentences for corruption, among other changes, will start to be introduced for the next Chief Executive election to be held in 2009.

According to Fong Chi Keong, the president of the standing committee which carried out deliberation of the revision, their meetings saw “comprehensive and thorough discussions” on some major topics such as formation of Electoral Affairs Commission, penalties for attempts of election crimes and also how to combat illegal activities in elections through criminal provisions.

Although the revision was approved by the majority of lawmakers, Au Kam San and Ng Kuok Cheong made a statement after the voting and called for the right to vote for every eligible citizen in Macau.

According to Au, the Chief Executive will remain to be elected by a “small circle” formed by members of old associations in Macau which was contradictory to the Basic Law’s regulation that “the Macau SAR shall set out the Chief Executive Electoral Law based on democratic and open principles”.

“As the Chief Executive is not voted by the public, Macau citizens cannot prompt the government head to be responsible for his own faults,” Au said in his statement, adding “privileges, collusion with the government, overpriced construction, excessive imports of labourers and illegal workers have been constantly seen.”

As Hong Kong has already set the date for a Chief Executive election by universal suffrage in 2017, Au said in contrast Macau did not even “move one step forward on the path of democracy”.

“Establishing a democratic political system can suppress collusion, reflect permanent residents’ political rights and is a good way for self administration by Macau people,” the lawmaker added.

Ng Kuok Cheong also said in his statement that the Electoral Affairs Commission, which is formed by 300 individuals from different sectors in society, would “weaken recognition and political power of the Chief Executive”.

The new Electoral Laws for the Chief Executive and the Legislative Council will both be in place on October 15, 2008.

Revision of the Legislative Council Organisational Law

The plenary meeting of the Legislative Assembly yesterday also saw the general approval of the bill to revise the Legislative Council Organisational Law proposed by Jose Coutinho, Leonel Alves, Ieong Tou Hong and Cheang Chi Keong.

The bill will be sent to either a standing committee or eventual committee for deliberation.

Ieong said the proposal was prompted by the increasing amount of workloads the Assembly has been having so that more staff can be hired to respond to the “actual needs”.

The bill suggests to add one more vacancy for the position of vice secretary general, president and vice president of the Assembly can have more than one secretary and to set up an office for the Assembly president.

In addition, the bill proposed that the Assembly’s executive committee can adopt private contracts to hire people for different positions as well as the relaxation of paying over-time compensation to staff.

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