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Lawmakers submit draft resolution to counter suspended peer’s court appeal

Indirectly-elected lawmakers Kou Hoi In and Vong Hin Fai yesterday called for an urgent plenary session to debate and vote on a draft resolution on whether the suspension of a lawmaker by his or her peers is a “political act”, according to the website of the Legislative Assembly (AL).

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:46 am

Indirectly-elected lawmakers Kou Hoi In and Vong Hin Fai yesterday called for an urgent plenary session to debate and vote on a draft resolution on whether the suspension of a lawmaker by his or her peers is a “political act”, according to the website of the Legislative Assembly (AL).

The legislature has arranged a plenary session on Tuesday to debate and vote on the draft resolution, the legislature said on its website Thursday.

The two legislators jointly propose the draft resolution in response to directly-elected lawmaker Sulu Sou Ka Hou having recently filed an appeal to the Court of Second Instance (TSI) over certain legal matters concerning the process and procedure of his suspension as a lawmaker last month.

Sou said in a statement on Wednesday that he had filed an appeal with the Court of Second Instance to examine the legality of the process and procedure of his suspension by his peers.

During a plenary session on December 4, Sou was suspended from the Legislative Assembly, when 28 of the 33 members of the legislature voted for his suspension so that he can stand trial for alleged aggravated disobedience.

It is the first suspension of a lawmaker since the establishment of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) in December 1999.

The legislature said in a statement on November 13 that the Court of First Instance (TJB) had requested the legislature to make a decision on whether Sou was to be suspended as a lawmaker so that he could stand trial for the alleged crime.

Prosecution of offences allegedly committed by a lawmaker that are punishable by less than three years must be authorised by the legislature.

According to Article 312 of the Macau Penal Code, aggravated disobedience is punishable by a fine or up to two years behind bars.

Sou and fellow activist Chiang stand accused of aggravated disobedience in the wake of a demonstration in May 2016 against the public Macau Foundation’s controversial decision to donate 100 million yuan (122 million patacas) to Jinan University in Guangzhou.

The trial of the duo’s case is now slated to start on Tuesday, after last week’s decision by the court to postpone the commencement of the trial for a week, following an urgent request of the two suspects’ local Portuguese lawyer.

The draft resolution jointly proposed by Kou, a businessman, and Vong, a lawyer, asserts that according to the Legislative Assembly Lawmakers Statute, the act of deciding whether a lawmaker should be suspended by his or her peers and the act of deciding whether a lawmaker should be disqualified are both “political acts”, adding that such acts are not to be interfered with by any other entities or individuals so as to not affect the operation of the political system stipulated by the Macau Basic Law.

The resolution by the two legislators also asserts that according to the Judicial Organisation Framework Law, political acts cannot be subject to appeals by any entity or individual to the judicial system.

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:46 am

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