Widespread allegations of vote-buying and irregularities throughout polling day were the background to the apparent enthusiasm over Macau's legislative elections yesterday. Despite reports by the Macau press that the going rate for a vote was about 2,500 patacas, election officials denied there had been complaints from voters or candidates. Speaking before polls closed, Alfonso Camoes, Director of the Macau Government Information Service, said complaints of cash gifts and lavish karaoke and free dinners were 'nothing serious'. 'People hold dinner parties. I don't think this is anything new or different,' he said. However, police were called on several occasions throughout the day. In one incident, despite Macau Electoral Law stating that police could not go within 100 metres of a polling station, the official managing the station at the Outer Harbour called police closer than this because he suspected voters were being interfered with. No arrests were made. Police were also called to a noodle shop at Avenida Horta e Costa, close to the Pui Ching Middle School polling station, after receiving a tip-off about vote-buying. Officers made no arrests, but some people in the shop were 'advised' to leave. Early turnout figures were boosted by the candidates who laid on free breakfast in selected restaurants, and then offered air-conditioned transport to the polling stations. Unlike last year's elections in Hong Kong, the elections in Macau have the blessing of Beijing. The Beijing Government has said all those elected to the new assembly who uphold the Basic Law will be allowed to stay in office until 2001, two years into Chinese rule. The election is under the D'Hondest Proportional Representation System, under which candidates must form groups of at least four and no more than eight. Voters choose these groups and not individuals. After the election eight seats will be given to business or other sectional interests while another seven are appointed by the Governor.