Ballots for 14 directly elected lawmakers and 12 indirectly elected lawmakers to be cast by permanent residents in candidates’ battle for seats in the legislaturewill be held on 15 September, with the maximum amount that each electoral campaign group can legally spend amounting to 5,644,278.46 patacas, about 36.9 percent less than in 2009.
According to an order signed by Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On and published in the Official Gazette (BO) Monday, the government will hold the direct and indirect legislative elections on September 15.
Elections in Macau must be held on a Sunday.
Any permanent resident aged at least 18 has the right to vote while candidates must at least be 21 years old.
According to the city’s revised election law, after September’s ballot the Legislative Assembly (AL) will have 33 lawmakers, comprising 14 directly-elected, 12 indirectly-elected and seven government-appointed lawmakers, four more than four years ago. Each legislative official term is four years.
Meanwhile, according to another order signed by Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On, which was also published in Monday’s Official Gazette (BO), each electoral group in the upcoming legislative elections will be allowed to spend a maximum of 5,644,278.46 patacas on their campaign.
The limit was set at 8,942,959.84 patacas for each campaign group in the 2009 legislature elections.
The Office of the Government Spokesperson said in a statement that the new cap was based on the “real expenditures” of each electoral group in the 2009elections and after collecting public opinion.
The office said in the statement quoted by The Macau Post Daily that no electoral groups in the 2009 legislative election were recorded as being over budget.
According to the statement, the highest expenditure of any group in the election campaign in 2009 stood at four million patacas, which was only 54 percent of the limit, while only one group’s expenditure was over 50 percent of the limit.
The office also said in the statement that based on the highest expenditure for electoral campaigns recorded in the last legislative election in 2009 and annual inflation rates recorded after 2009, the government set the limit for this year’s legislative election at 5,644,278.46 patacas.
There were 16 electoral groups, officially called “lists,” competing for the then 12 directly-elected seats while there were only four campaign groups vying for the then 10 indirectly-elected seats in four sectors – labour; commerce and industry; social welfare, culture, education and sport; and professions in 2009.
The government set up a five-member legislative election management committee last week.
Unlike in Hong Kong, there are no political parties in Macau. Electoral “lists” are customarily revived or newly formed ad hoc before the elections.(macaunews)