19 lists field 159 candidates vying for 14 directly-elected seats: govt

2021-07-08 03:57     Comment:0

The Legislative Assembly Electoral Affairs Commission (CAEAL) yesterday announced the personal details of the candidates fielded by 19 lists running in the upcoming direct election, according to which 159 candidates are vying for the legislature’s 14 directly-elected seats.

Consequently, there will be 11.3 candidates per seat at stake. Four years ago, there were 13.3 candidates for each directly-elected seat in the legislature’s hemicycle.

The personal details of the 12 candidates of the five electoral lists running unopposed in the upcoming indirect election were also announced yesterday. The legislature has 12 indirectly-elected seats.

Yesterday’s lists of candidates of the 19 direct election groups and five indirect election groups are preliminary lists. The commission will announce the officially confirmed lists on July 20 at the earliest.

The personal information of the 159 direct election candidates, as well as the 12 indirect election candidates, was posted on the ground floor of the Public Administration Building in Rua do Campo yesterday afternoon.

The direct and indirect legislative elections will take place on September 12. Each direct election list must have at least four and no more than 14 candidates.

A total of 19 electoral lists will run in the upcoming direct election. Four years ago, 25 candidacy lists vied for the 14 seats at stake. In 2017, one of the lists quit the race before polling day but remained on the ballot papers.

The 33-member Legislative Assembly (AL) comprises 14 deputies directly elected by universal suffrage, 12 deputies indirectly elected by association representatives and seven deputies appointed by the chief executive after the direct and indirect elections. Macau’s legislative elections are held in line with the proportional representation system.

The legislature’s 12 indirectly-elected seats comprise four seats representing the city’s industrial, commercial and financial sector, three seats from the professional sector, two seats from the labour sector, two seats from the cultural and sports sector, and one seat from the social services and educational sector.

For each of the five indirect election sectors, only one electoral list will take part in the upcoming indirect legislative election, meaning that all the 12 candidates are set to be elected uncontested.

Four years ago, the 25 direct election lists had 191 candidates. As one of the 25 lists quit the race before polling day, 186 candidates from 24 lists competed for the 14 directly-elected seats in the 2017 election.

For the upcoming direct election, the 19 direct election lists are: 1) Macau Collective Energy, 2) Alliance for a Happy Home, 3) Progress Promotion Union, 4) Macau Victory, 5) Union for Development, 6) Democratic Prosperous Macau Association, 7) New Macau Progressives, 8) Macau-Guangdong Union, 9) Civic Watch, 10) Power of Synergy, 11) Gaming New Macau, 12) Power of Political Thought, 13) Macau United Citizens Association, 14) New Macau Progressive Association, 15) New Hope, 16) Dialogue Power, 17) Platform for Youngsters, 18) Ou Mun Kong I (“Macau Righteousness”), and 19) Macau Basic Law Promotion Alliance.

According to calculations based on media reports about the 19 direct election lists which had submitted their respective lists of candidates and political platforms to the Legislative Assembly Electoral Affairs Commission over the past two weeks, the 19 lists comprised 162 candidates. According to the lists containing personal information of candidates posted by the commission yesterday, three direct election lists each have one candidate less than what they announced to the media when they submitted their respective political platforms, because of which the 19 direct election lists now have 159 candidates.

The three direct election lists are Macau-Guangdong Union – which now has 12 candidates, Macau Victory – which now fields four candidates, and Macau Basic Law Promotion Alliance – which now comprises six candidates.

According to the election schedule, official representatives of electoral lists can file an appeal by tomorrow against yesterday’s announcement of the candidate lists.

According to the schedule, the commission will inform official representatives by tomorrow about any possible faults with the data about their candidates submitted to the commission. They will be required to rectify the faults by Monday, after which the commission will announce its decision by Wednesday next week whether it accepts their rectifications. If the relevant electoral lists do not file an appeal against the commission’s decision, the commission will announce the final confirmed lists on July 20.

Lists claims to be ‘under pressure’ to withdraw

Meanwhile, the number-one candidate of the Macau Victory list, Lo Chun Seng, told reporters at the Public Administration Building yesterday afternoon that one candidate of his list has “resolutely” decided to withdraw from the election due to opposition from family members, because of which, Lo said, the number of candidates of his list has now been reduced to four from the initial five. Four is the minimum number of candidates each direct election list must have.

Speaking to reporters after submitting a petition to the commission about the matter yesterday afternoon, Lo said that one more candidate of his list told him yesterday morning that he wanted to withdraw from the election due to “pressure from someone”. Lo noted that his list would be disqualified from taking part in the election if one more candidate withdraws from his list.

Lo said that he suspected that the matter was due to “malicious” forces aiming to force his list to withdraw from the election. Lo said that if one more candidate of his list decides to withdraw from his election bid, he will report the matter to the police asking for an investigation into the “forces behind”.

36 polling stations

Meanwhile, the Legislative Assembly Electoral Affairs Commission (CAEAL) confirmed yesterday on its website the 36 polling stations for the upcoming direct and indirect legislative elections.

While the total number of polling stations this time will remain unchanged at 36 as in the 2017 elections, four locations used for polling stations in the elections four years ago will be replaced by others.

Same as in the 2017 elections, there will be 34 polling stations for the upcoming direct election across the city, while a polling station for both the direct and indirect elections will be set up at the Macau Polytechnic Institute’s (IPM) Sports Stadium in Zape. Besides, a polling station for the direct election will be set up at the prison in Coloane for eligible inmates to cast their ballots.

According to yesterday’s announcement, the Macau Forum complex, which is currently being used as a nucleic acid testing (NAT) station and a COVID-19 vaccination centre, will be replaced by Santa Rosa de Lima English Secondary School – which is located in Avenida do Dr. Rodrigo Rodrigues in Zape.

The Social Welfare Bureau’s (IAS) service facility set up at the Seac Pai Van public housing estate in Coloane, which was used for a polling station in the 2017 direct election, will be replaced by the Seac Pai Van Public School – which opened last year – for the upcoming direct election, according to yesterday’s announcement.

According to yesterday’s announcement, the Taipa Fong Chong School – which is located near the Nova Taipa Garden residential estate – will be replaced by the primary school section of Pui Tou School – which is located at the Hung Fat Garden residential estate.

According to yesterday’s announcement, Santa Teresa School in Ilha Verde will be replaced by São José Diocesan No. 5 School in Toi San.

This time, the electoral roll comprises 325,180 voters, an increase of 18,160 (+5.9 percent) from 2017, according to official statistics.

Lo Chun Seng (left), the number-one candidate of the Macau Victory direct election list, hands in a petition to a staff member of the Legislative Assembly Electoral Affairs Commission (CAEAL) at the Public Administration Building yesterday. Photo: Prisca Tang

A man reads personal information of candidates of the upcoming direct election at the Public Administration Building in Rua do Campo yesterday.  Photo: Prisca Tang

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