Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng says that the Macao government is studying how to “standardise” requirements for patriots to become members of local governing bodies.
Ho made the remarks in reply to appointed lawmaker Chan Wa Keong’s written question.
Chan asked whether the Macao government would draft legislation to specify details about the “patriots governing Macao” principle, with reference to the practice in Hong Kong.
Ho replied that the fact that Macao has always adhered to the “patriots governing Macao” principle is an important reason for the successful implementation of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle.
Ho said that there are at least three important criteria to define patriots.
Firstly, patriots must safeguard the nation’s sovereignty, security and development interests, and must not engage in activities that jeopardise national sovereignty and security.
Secondly, patriots must respect and safeguard the country’s fundamental system and the constitutional order of the Macao Special Administrative Region.
In particular, Article 1 of the nation’s Constitution stipulates that “the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the Communist Party of China”, which, Ho added, is “a fundamental system that patriots must fully respect and safeguard”.
Thirdly, patriots necessarily make their utmost effort to safeguard Macao’s prosperity and stability.
Ho noted that a number of local laws such as the Oath of Office Law and the Legislative Assembly Election Law have certain rules to ensure the implementation of the “patriots governing Macao” principle.
Nevertheless, Ho said that “with the aim of further securing the implementation of such a fundamental principle”, the Macao government is now studying how to more fully and accurately “standardise” requirements that patriots need to meet.
Ho said that the study also aims to further improve the city’s legal mechanism concerning the implementation of the “patriots governing Macao” principle.
Meanwhile, in his reply to directly-elected lawmaker Ng Kuok Cheong’s written question, Ho reaffirmed that “patriots governing Macao” is a fundamental principle of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle.
In his question, Ng accused the Macao government of having deprived certain individuals of their political rights by disqualifying them from running in the upcoming legislative direct election – which will take place on 12 September. Ng has been officially disqualified from running in next month’s direct election.
In his reply, Ho said that ensuring that the Legislative Assembly is composed of patriots is an important condition for the “correct” implementation of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle.
Ho underlined that no-one, including himself, has the power to interfere in the independent operation of the Electoral Affairs Commission of the Legislative Assembly Elections, which, he said, had assessed candidates’ qualifications in line with the powers granted by the Legislative Assembly Election Law before “refusing to accept certain electoral lists that were ineligible to run in the election in line with the law”.
The commission overseeing Macao’s upcoming elections disqualified 20 candidates from six lists in July for failing to uphold the Macao Basic Law or having been disloyal to the MSAR.