The Macau authorities have denied any knowledge of vote-rigging in elections despite charges made by numerous political groups. Ng Kuok-cheong, a candidate from the main liberal group, was backed by Cheang Hong-lok of the Clerks and Employees Association, Wong Cheong-nam of Macau's Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood (ADPL) and Alexandre Ho of The Amity Association in making the charges. But Afonso Camoes, Director of the Government Information Services in Macau, said the authorities had not received any complaints about vote-buying in the history of Macau's direct election which started in 1976. Mr Wong, the ADPL president, said some groups had started buying votes in July, 1995 - long before the election started. Groups involved send a middle man to get in touch with the voters, the voters are offered $500 for registering and voting while the middleman will get $500. Mr Ng claimed that he had heard that the latest figure being offered for a vote was $2,000. Mr Cheang said: 'Given that the bribes must come from powerful people with powerful backgrounds, it would be dangerous to refuse.'