Secretary for Administration and Justice André Cheong Weng Chon said today (Wednesday) that local authorities have not “stopped paying attention” to possible political election reforms but that fighting the pandemic was the main priority as this moment.
The Secretary made the comments while answering legislator Sulu Sou Ka Hou, who questioned the absence of any possible electoral reform for the AL or Chief Executive elections in the 2021 policy address.
The directly-elected legislator has repeatedly called for more forms that could increase the number of legislators selected by popular vote or for universal suffrage elections for select the CE.
“The Macau SAR follows the system enshrined in its Basic Law and it is important for the stability of our region. This reform depends on several factors, such as the need to assess the current conditions of the SAR,” the Secretary stated
“In 2012 we already conducted some reforms to prefect the AL election method. We have also paid attention to the Chief Executive election. At this stage, dealing with the pandemic is our main priority”.
The last AL political reform in the Macau SAR took place in 2012 when the number of legislators was increased to 33, with the legislative elections in 2013 and 2017 involved the direct election of 14 legislators by popular vote and the indirect election of 12 legislators by association representatives.
Changes to the CE electoral were also enacted in 2019 but without altering the 400-member Electoral Committee that elects the city’s head of government.
Back in his policy address for this year in April, CE Ho Iat Seng indicated that he was in favour of further democratic election political reforms but that he did not consider this to be the right time to put forward plans to advance in this direction.