Yesterday’s plenary session of the Legislative Assembly (LA) was marked by strong ideological clashes and an exchange of arguments between pro-democracy and pro-establishment lawmakers over the disqualification of a number of candidates in the September elections of the AL.
On the Democratic side, lawmakers Ng Kuok Cheong and Au Kam San criticized the decision of the Legislative Assembly’s Electoral Affairs Commission (CAEAL).
Ng argued that asking for universal suffrage for the election of the Chief Executive Officer (EC) is not an illegal act.
Noting the CAEAL decision which disqualified him from standing for election, he said he was accused “of illegally promoting universal suffrage for the EC election, which is ridiculous”.
âI must reiterate here that universal suffrage – which I defend inside and outside this chamber – fully complies with constitutional procedures. [I defend it] in the sense that [I am] ask the EC to present, as soon as possible and with the agreement of the central government, the bill corresponding to the LA to be approved by a two-thirds majority and to create a regime in which the EC is chosen by the voices of the inhabitants. “
Continuing to express his ideas, Ng noted that in 2012, the vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, Qiao Xiaoyang, did not rule out the possibility of having universal suffrage for the election of the leader. of the Macao SAR executive.
“Thus, there is no illegality regarding the call for this universal suffrage,” Ng remarked, urging the EC to pressure the government to “correct its political mistakes.”
In turn, Au openly criticized CAEAL, accusing it of abusing its powers and destroying the electoral system.
âIn the current international situation, China is under pressure from the international community due to the situation in [â¦] Hong Kong. Suddenly, CAEAL disqualified candidates who were not part of the pro-establishment wing, a more than notorious violation of the electoral system. Therefore, he destroyed, on his own initiative, the principle of âOne country, two systemsâ, âAu said. He added: “From the point of view of the international community, this will be seen as the central government [intending to now come] to “fix” the principle “One country, two systems” in Macao, after having done the same in Hong Kong. “
For Au, CAEAL’s unwarranted attitude will eventually raise small issues for Macau and internationally.
Again accusing CAEAL members of abusing their power, Au urged them to back down and “get back to normal” so that they do not “create [unnecessary] chaos for the country.
On the pro-establishment side, many lawmakers have also touched on the subject, expressing support for CAEAL’s decision and accusing disqualified candidates – namely those who are sitting lawmakers – of attempting to clean up their records on the activities they are doing. pro-establishment lawmakers consider it disloyal to Macau and the Basic Law.
Chan Hong, Ma Chi Seng, Chan Wa Keong, Iau Teng Pio, Fong Ka Chio, Pang Chun, Chan Chak Mo and Chui Sai Peng were all signatories of oral inquiries expressing support for the disqualification of election candidates.
Pro-establishment lawmakers have expressed the view that it is indisputable that CAEAL performs its functions in accordance with the law, and that their decision “represents the fulfillment by the Macao SAR of its constitutional obligations and the enforcement of its constitutional obligations. implementation of the fundamental principle âMacao ruled by patriots. They added that CAEAL acted “in strict accordance with the law, with sufficient legal and factual grounds”.
Ma clarified that âthe seven criteria on whether or not to defend the Macao Basic Law and loyalty to the Macao SAR, developed by CAEAL, are only used to assess the eligibility of all applicants. Since its inception, the Macao SAR government has respected the various basic rights and freedoms of expression that citizens enjoy under the law. CAEAL’s decision is in no way a restriction on freedom of expression, nor does it affect the right of Macau residents to information and to monitor the actions of the Macao government.
The Iau lawmaker, who was appointed by the EC, went even further by stating that âwe all know that the qualification of certain people for the elections has been canceled because they were practicing prohibited acts. Unfortunately, these people are trying very hard to avoid the problem. They started talking about what they have done for the citizens, their oversight of the government, free speech etc. It just distracts the public’s attention and depletes the good faith of Macau citizens, âhe said. He went and said, âThese people have to bring clarity to society. They cannot continue to confuse our eyes and ears and distract attention. “
Further insight was provided by lawmaker Chan Chak Mo, who described and listed several activities organized and attended by disqualified candidates who, in his opinion, justify CAEAL’s actions.
“Some people still say they are the biggest supporters of the ‘One country, two systems’ policy, but they publicly organize meetings on June 4, spreading false and misleading messages, and deliberately distort the final decision of the central government regarding the incident. In addition, they undermine and attack, without the slightest concern, the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, and cry for the end of a one-party system, which severely tramples the boundaries of “One Country, two systems. âconcluded.