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Electoral body confirms single list for business-sector by-election

A single list has been confirmed for the by-election of a business sector seat in the Legislative Assembly on November 24.

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:45 am

Legislative Assembly Electoral Affairs Commission (CAEAL) President Tong Hio Fong has announced that a single list has been confirmed for the by-election of a business sector seat in the Legislative Assembly (AL) on November 24.

Tong made the remarks on Friday while speaking to reporters after a regular closed-door meeting of the commission at the Public Administration Building in Rua do Campo.

The indirect election by the city’s business sector constituency will be held in the wake of Ho Iat Seng’s resignation from the legislature on July 5. Ho is now Macau’s Chief Executive-elect. He is slated to be sworn in on December 20, when he will succeed Fernando Chui Sai On at the helm of the local government.

The 33-member legislature comprises 14 directly-elected seats, 12 indirectly-elected seats and seven government-appointed seats. Following Ho’s resignation, the legislature currently has 32 members.

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.

According to the Legislative Assembly Election Law, an indirect election group for a particular sector needs to obtain nominations by associations representing at least 20 percent of the total number of associations registered as voters for the sector.

Speaking to reporters, Tong noted that any indirect election group for the business sector needs to obtain nominations from at least 21 associations as voters for the sector – 20 per cent of the 107 associations currently registered for the sector. Tong said that an indirect election group has meanwhile had obtained 96 nominations, or 89.7 per cent of the total – much more than the required number of nominations, and submitted them to his commission before last Wednesday’s deadline.

The fact that the election group has obtained 96 nominations from the business sector has ruled out the possibility for another group taking part in the indirect election. Therefore, the by-election will involve a single list.

According to the Macau Post Daily, Tong also noted that according to the Legislative Assembly Election Law, each of the 107 associations is eligible to choose up to 22 voters to cast their ballots in the upcoming indirect election.

According to previous local media reports, the single list – officially known as Macau Business Interests Union – has been formed by the influential Macau Chamber of Commerce (ACM), which is generally regarded as Macau’ most influential non-governmental organisation (NGO).

Wang Sai Man, a board member of the chamber, is the union’s candidate. Wang is a member for the business sector in the Standing Council on Social Concerted Action, a government-appointed consultative body tasked with advising the government on its labour policies which consists of five business sector representatives and five labour representatives, as well as a number of government officials. Since there is only one group vying for the seat up for grabs in the November 24 by-election, Wang is the sole candidate. His election is therefore a foregone conclusion.

Wang is also the vice-chairman of Macau Manufacturers’ Association and president of the Macau Textile Merchants Association.

The four candidates of the Macau Business Interests Union were elected uncontested in the Legislative Assembly’s indirect business sector election in 2017 – José Chui Sai Peng, Ip Sio Kai, Kou Hoi In and Ho Iat Seng.

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:45 am

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