Legislative Electoral Commission member gone

Friday, September 11, 2009
Issue 816, Page 1 & 3
Word count: 486
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

Orieta Lau Ioc Ip, the director of the Financial Services Bureau (DSF) and one of the Legislative Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) members, is understood to have quit the EAC.

The DSF’s Motor Vehicle Valuation Committee (CAVM) has been found by the Audit Commission (CA) recently to have exploited up to 3.4 million patacas of public fund by convening significantly excessive number of meetings.

According to the mechanism, CAVM members can receive a corresponding amount of allowance for attending each meeting.

The CA report presented evidence of breaches of discipline committed by three CAVM members, but did not disclose their names.

The CAVM is formed by a president, who is also the DSF director, six members and a secretary.

Secretary for Economy and Finance Francis Tam Pak Yuen had said on Monday that disciplinary proceedings were already commenced against the three civil servants, as approved by Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah.

Yesterday the Electoral Affairs Commission held an explanatory session regarding the operation of the polling stations on September 20.

Apart from Orieta Lau Ioc Ip, all the other four EAC members were present.

When asked by reporters whether Ms Lau had already quit the commission, EAC president Fong Man Chong only responded that “a member” had resigned from EAC due to “personal reasons”.

Yet, since the direct legislative election is just around the corner, Mr Fong said it is unlikely to have another person taking over the vacancy.

He also said that all participating departments and personnel will do their best in order to minimum the impact of losing an EAC member.

Posters not allowed in casinos

On the other hand, the EAC issued two guidelines to all candidates yesterday to further define the regulations of the election campaign.

Mr Fong said a lot of complaints were received lately that publicity materials were being posted up in public venues.

Police together with the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau have started to remove all irregular publicity materials appear in public establishments, whilst the candidates were requested to remove those posted in private places.

If the situation persists, the EAC president said offenders will be fined and sent to the Public Prosecutions Office for investigation.

According to the regulations, posters, pictures, banners, printed manifesto and notices can only be posted in places designated by the EAC.

In private places such as residential buildings or shops, approvals from the owners must have to be obtained and the publicity materials can only show up inside of the areas.

Mr Fong reiterated that by law all franchise and public service concession companies are required to maintain neutral during the campaign. If prosecuted, a maximum jail sentence of three years could be handed down.

Since gaming operators belong to public service concession companies, Mr Fong said the gaming concessionaires or sub-concessionaires are forbidden to fund election campaign activities either directly or indirectly, “especially the vehicles owned by them [the courtesy coaches]”.

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