Typhoon Hato sprang a surprise election result on Sunday: three newcomers won seats in the legislature while two lawmakers failed in their re-election bids in the direct legislative election.
The authorities’ bungled response to typhoon Hato, the worst in over five decades, led to widespread public anger.
One of the newcomers to the legislature’s hemicycle is Agnes Lam Iok Fong, who heads the Civic Watch electoral group. Lam, assistant dean of the University of Macau’s (UM) Faculty of Social Sciences, finally won a seat in the legislature on her third attempt.
According to the Macau Post daily, the other newcomer is Sulu Sou Ka Hou, who heads the grassroots New Macau Progressives (ANPM) group. Four years ago, Sou was the second-ranked candidate of veteran legislator Au Kam San’s group. Sou, 26, who failed in his first attempt, will be Macau’s youngest lawmaker ever.
The third new newcomer is Leong Sun Iok, the second-ranked candidate of the electoral vehicle of the influential Macau Federation of Trade Unions’ Union for Development (UPD). Leong is a vice-president of the Macau Federation of Trade Unions.
Melinda Chan Mei Yi, the first-ranked candidate of the Alliance for Change (MUDAR), and Leong Veng Chai, the second-ranked candidate of New Hope (NE), headed by Jose Pereira Coutinho, failed in their re-election bids. Chan is the wife of businessman David Chow Kam Fai, a former lawmaker while Leong is a retired public servant.
The Macau-Guangdong Union (UMG), headed by businessmen Mak Soi Kun and Zheng Anting, obtained the highest number of the 24 groups that had fielded 186 for the 14 directly-elected seats up for grabs. According to the Legislative Assembly Electoral Affairs Committee’s (CAEAL), the group garnered 17,207 votes. The group is the electoral vehicle of the Macau Jiangmen Communal Society. Thousands Macau residents are immigrants from Jiangmen city in Guangdong.
Ella Lei Cheng I, who heads the Union for Development (UPD), was an indirectly-elected lawmaker for the labour sector in the outgoing legislature. She won a directly-elected seat, the first time she had run in the direct election.
Jose Pereira Coutinho, the first-ranked candidate of New Hope (NE), who has been a lawmaker since 2005, was re-elected. Coutinho heads the influential Macau Civil Servants Association (ATFPM).
Si Ka Lon, who heads Macau United Citizens Association (ACUM), and Becky Song Pek Kei, who heads the Macau Citizens Development Association (ACDM), were re-elected but on different tickets from four years ago.
Businessman-cum-Fujianese community leader Chan Meng Kam, Si and Song ran on the same list four years ago. Chan, who garnered the highest number of votes in the direct election four years ago, did not seek re-election.
Ho Ion Sang, who heads the Progress Promotion Union (UPP), was re-elected. The group was a “joint venture” between the Macau General Union of Neighbourhood Associations (Kai Fong) and Macau Women’s General Association (Fu Luen) four years ago, with Wong Kit Cheng then as his successful running mate.
This year, Ho and Wong, a nurse by profession, who heads the Alliance for a Happy Home, split into two separate lists. Wong was also re-elected.
Both Au Kam San, who heads the New Democratic Macau Association (ANMD) and his long-time political partner, Ng Kuok Cheong, who heads the Democratic Prosperous New Macau Association (APMD), succeeded in their re-election bids.
New Macau Development Union’s (NUDM), headed by Angela Leong On Kei, the fourth-wife of casino mogul Stanley Ho, was elected for a fourth term. Leong is an executive of gaming company SJM.
The final result was announced at around 2:30 a.m. today. A total of 174,872 voters – the highest number on record – cast their ballots in the direct legislative election with the valid number of votes standing at 172,589. There were 1,339 invalid and 944 blank votes. The voter turnout was 57 percent. In 2013, it stood at 55 percent. This is the third highest voter turnout since the 1999 establishment of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR).
The new legislature will start work on October 16.