Macau, China, 10 Nov – The grassroots New Macau Association (NMA) Wednesday pressed for three more directly elected seats by reducing the number the government-appointed seats from seven to four in the Legislative Assembly (AL) in 2013, The Macau Post Daily reports today, quoting the group’s president, Jason Chao Teng Hei
Chao and the association’s vice president Chiang Meng Hin co-presided over a press conference in the group’s office to release their own “2012 Policy Address”, which states the key areas of work they regard as important for the government to do next year.
According to Chao, the Legislative Assembly Election Law should be amended to increase the number of directly elected seats in the legislature and reduce – accordingly – the number of seats appointed by the government.
Chao said that the legislature’s number of directly elected seats should be increased to 15 in 2013, three more than the current number, while there should be a corresponding decrease in the number of three government-appointed seats.
Currently, the legislature comprises 12 directed elected, 10 indirectly elected and seven government-appointed lawmakers. In 2013, Macau will hold its fifth legislative elections after the city’s return to Chinese administration in in 1999.
“After the number of directly elected in the legislature reaches over half, the legislature can really represent the voice of the general public,” Chao said, adding that the total number of the seats should be kept unchanged at 29, while the number of directly elected seats should also remain intact.
The indirectly elected seats are chosen by representatives of business, labour, community, sport, professional, cultural, charitable and other associations. Permanent residents aged at least 18 have the right to vote in the direct elections, irrespective of nationality and place of birth. The age of candidacy stands at 21.
Chao said during the press conference he hoped Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On would consider their suggestions while putting the final touches to his 2012 Policy Address.
Chui presents his policy address for next year during a plenary meeting of the legislature next Tuesday.(MacauNews/Politics)