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Political reforms cause divided opinions

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image The New Macau Association lawmakers consider that “a large section of the population is not in agreement with the Government in terms of the future of the political system”

The consultation period on Macau’s political reform ends today. On the issue of “double universal suffrage” (elections for the Chief Executive and the Legislature), Policy Review Office Coordinator Lao Pun Lap said yesterday that, “the possibility of Macau choosing the system of universal suffrage in the elections of the Chief Executive in the future is not being discarded”, but he added that currently a so-called “timetable for universal suffrage” is not going to be established.
Regarding the elections for the Legislative Assembly, he argued that, “the Basic Law itself excludes the possibility of all deputies being elected by the universal suffrage methodology”. The main objective would be the appropriate extension of democratic participation, to ensure the success of the elections for the 5th Legislative Assembly in 2013 and the 4th Chief Executive in 2014.
Many citizens consider that young people should play a more important role in the politics of Macau and thus a platform granting their participation should be established. Lao Pun Lap said a change in the age classification for members of the electoral commission and the indirect suffrage of the Legislative Assembly “would not be very appropriate” as it would create too much confusion. Instead, different sectors should be modified to better represent the youth.
According to him, the gradual development of the political system of Macau should be done under the principle of the predominance of the executive, as defined in the Basic Law of Macau. He further stated that the executive must, “put economic development as the priority of governmental action.”

“A tendentious proposal”

According to José Pereira Coutinho, lawmaker and President of the Macau Civil Servants’ Association, “the Government should not have launched a tendentious proposal.” By including the “2+2” proposal in a book which was distributed during the consultations open to the public, he said the Government interfered in the opinions of the population. Instead, he stated, “the Government should only have explained the necessary procedure for a change of the law.” Over three weeks the Civil Servants’ Association collected opinions from the population about the political reform. “More than 10,000 people are in favour of increasing the number of directly elected deputies to four, along with cutting four nominated by the Chief Executive,” Pereira Coutinho said.

Referendum shows disagreement

“A large section of the population is not in agreement with the Government in terms of the future of the political system.” This is also the result of a previously announced referendum conducted yesterday by the New Macau Association. Several hundred people participated in the referendum and showed their disagreement with the Government. They also stated they were disappointed by the ambitions and the honesty of local associations.


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Responsible Right of Expression — In the interest of freedom of expression, coupled with a true sense of responsibility to encourage community dialogue, the Macau Daily Times offers its readers the opportunity to express their opinions on new-related matters through this website. All opinions are welcome. However, we reserve the right to remove comments that are deemed to be obscene, or are merely insults written under the cloak of anonymity. MDT