A record 25 groups will stand in the upcoming direct legislative election, Legislative Assembly Electoral Affairs Committee (CAEAL) President Tong Hio Fong said on Wednesday.
According to the Macau Post Daily, the direct and indirect legislative elections will take place on September 17. A total of 14 of the legislature’s 33 seats will be directly elected.
Four years ago, the committee received applications from 22 groups to stand in the direct election, but only 20 were approved.
This year’s number of direct-election lists is the highest on record.
Tong, a judge by profession, told reporters after a regular meeting of the government-appointed committee at the Public Administration Building in Rua do Campo that his committee had approved all 25 groups planning to run in the direct election.
Tong told reporters last week that four of the 25 groups had not yet been approved as they did not submit enough registered voters’ endorsement signatures to the committee, or their logos looked similar to those of other registered associations.
Tong said all the four groups have in the meantime submitted additional endorsement signatures or other required data to the committee.
Meanwhile, Tong revealed that his committee has so far met 33 of 118 registered voters who signed more than one election candidature nomination form and discovered that there was one case allegedly involving “false news” to deceive registered voters in order to obtain
Tong said the committee had referred the case to the police to investigate. Citing the Legislative Assembly Election Law, Tong also said those involved in the case face one to five years behind bars if found guilty of violating Article 151 of the Macau Legislative Assembly Election Law.
Asked by reporters how the committee will handle the case if the result of the investigation is only known after any of the group’s candidates had been elected, Tong said his committee needed to study the law to see how to deal with this situation.