Macau Parliamentary candidates expressing support for the anti-government and pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong could be disfellowshipped, the chairman of the Legislative Assembly Electoral Committee (CAEAL) warned this Thursday.
“If you support the protests in Hong Kong, you are violating the provisions of the Basic Law. In other words, the constitutional order, ”Tong Hio Fong told reporters at the end of a committee meeting.
“According to the electoral law, all candidates must declare that they defend the Basic Law and are loyal to the MSAR [Região Administrativa Especial de Macau]and the People’s Republic of China, ”said the judge who headed CAEAL in the September 2017 elections and the November 2019 supplementary elections.
This means, he explained, that “any candidate can be disqualified if they say something that is against the law”.
On Monday, Macau Prime Minister Ho Iat Seng had already promised to “make every effort” to implement the patriot-ruled “Macau” principle, days after China passed controversial electoral reform to promote “patriotism” in Hong guarantee Kong.
Electoral reform in neighboring Hong Kong strengthens Beijing’s power in semi-autonomous areas and curbs the pro-democracy opposition by excluding candidates classified as “anti-patriots” and appointing other MPs, thereby reducing the number of people elected by the citizens.
The idea of Ho Iat Seng was reinforced by the director of the Macau Central Government Liaison Office, Fu Ziying, who advocated “the full realization of the basic principle of special administrative regions ruled by patriots.”
The elections for the Macau Legislative Assembly will take place on September 12th this year.
The Mazan parliament consists of a total of 33 members: 14 are elected by universal suffrage, 12 by indirect suffrage (through associations) and seven are appointed by the general manager.
The Macau government was transferred from Portugal to China in late 1999, two years after Beijing regained sovereignty over the former British colony in Hong Kong.
In the Basic Law of Macau, the “mini-constitution” of the territory, which is to be in force until 2049, it states that the MSAR has the right to “exercise a high degree of autonomy and enjoy independent executive, legislative and judicial powers” .