Political reforms likely in Macau

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 May, 2012, 12:00am


Macau is likely to go ahead with political reforms as a public consultation has found most residents supportive of the proposed legislative and election changes, the administration says.

It released results of the consultation just nine days after the exercise ended and only a day after hundreds of young people rallied against the plan and alleged media censorship. One youth group accused the government of manipulating the findings.

The government said in its report: 'During the consultation, the society has discussed more deeply the principles of the forming of the Legislative Council and the reform proposals. A wide consensus has been reached.

'Apart from pushing forward Macau's constitutional development, the city's security, prosperity and stability are also ensured.'

The public exercise took views on the election processes for the Legislative Council next year and the chief executive in 2014.

It proposes expanding the chief-executive election committee from 300 to 400 people, and adding four new seats in the 29-member council with two directly elected and two indirectly elected seats.

The body now has 12 directly elected, 10 indirectly elected and seven appointed lawmakers. Indirectly elected seats are similar to functional constituencies in Hong Kong.

As many as 87 per cent of more than 153,000 people agreed to expand the committee, while 86 per cent of nearly 160,000 people accepted the proposed change to council seats, the report said.

Young people and journalists alleged the government made the media portray the public as having reached a consensus on the reforms and arranged organisations to submit views.

Scott Chiang Meng-hin, vice-president of Youth Dynamics, said: 'It's clear the results were manipulated by the government, especially when it could process more than 100,000 documents in a few working days.'

The group plans to protest in the next few days.

Florinda da Rosa Silva Chan, secretary for administration and justice, said the government was rigorous in producing the report.