Pan-democrats: NPC deputies to be elected by citizens

Thursday, February 10, 2011
Issue 1231, Page 4
Word count: 451
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The New Macau Association is planning to write to the 12 Macau deputies to the National People’s Congress (NPC) this week, as the pan-democrats hope that the deputies can be elected by the city’s Chinese citizens in the future.

Vice-president of the association, Scott Chiang Meng Hin, said according to Article 34 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, “all citizens of the country who have reached the age of 18 have the right to vote and stand for election […], except persons deprived of political rights according to law”, adding at present mainland Chinese also have the right to participate in the NPC deputy election.

Hence the association urges the 12 Macau deputies to exercise their rights to speak and to proposal bills in the upcoming NPC plenary meeting in Beijing in March, in the hope that their successors will be able to be directly elected in the future by the Chinese citizens among the Macau residents.

Meanwhile, the pan-democrats again call for the SAR Government to start establishing a democratic political regime as soon as possible, which they believe will be the solution to combat “collusion between officials and businesspeople”.

A democratic political regime means that each Macau permanent resident aged 18 or above will have the right to vote for the chief executive, and that the Legislative Assembly will have more directly-elected seats and fewer indirectly-elected and chief executive-appointed seats, Chiang explained.

He said the Government has to coordinate the implementation of a city-wide consultation for the changes in the political regime. Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On has promised to launch a consultation process during his mandate, a pledge made before he got elected in 2009. But not much has been said to date.

Chairman of the association Jason Chao Teng Hei reiterated that they will continue to stage a protest on December 20 this year, until universal suffrage is attained in Macau.

The recent demolition of the shacks in the Ilha Verde neighbourhood continue to spark debate as lawmaker Ng Kuok Cheong disclosed that he and two other pro-democracy lawmakers, Au Kam San and Chan Wai Chi, have submitted a request to the legislature to arrange a hearing concerning the demolition.

In addition, he criticised the consultation proposal of the land transport policy for “not being able to integrate with the reality”.

The short-term measures proposed by the Transport Bureau last until 2012, but “have overlooked the social changes to be brought by the construction of the 19,000 public housing units that may involve the relocation of 20 percent of the population,” he said.

The lawmaker added that the absence of overall city planning will further hinder the effectiveness of the land transport policy.

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