The 13 grassroots groups that competed in Sunday’s direct legislative election garnered 48,879 votes, or 33.3 percent of the total 146,453 valid votes cast, The Macau Post Daily reports today.
In the 2009 election, the grassroots camp’s then seven groups won 47,987 votes, or 33.83 percent of the 149,006 valid votes cast.
The grassroots camp this time won four seats, unchanged from 2009. Just three of the 13 grassroots groups won seats on Sunday, taking up 29 percent of the 14 directly-elected seats. In 2009, when there were just 12 directly-elected seats in the legislature, the grassroots camp held 33.3 percent of the directly-elected seats.
Five of the grassroots groups garnered less than 1,000 votes each.
Just nine of the 20 candidate groups won between one and three seats each.
The five groups headed by high-profile businessmen or the wives of prominent businessmen (Angela Leong On Kei and Melinda Chan Mei Yi) won 69,797 votes on Sunday, or 47.6 percent of the total. While Leong is a casino executive, Chan chairs the influential Sin Meng Charitable Association. She also heads the Federation of Zhuhai Associations in Macau.
In the 2009 election, this segment garnered 38.7 percent of the total number of votes in the direct legislative election.
Business leaders were the biggest winners of Sunday’s elections.
Macau’s two traditional groups – known in Chinese as One Heart and Collective Efforts – representing trade union, neighbourhood and women’s interests won 27,777 votes, or 18.9 percent of the total.
In 2009, the two traditional groups won 36,142 votes, or 25.5 percent of the total.
The biggest loser of Sunday’s election was the Federation of Trade Union’s Union for Development (“One Heart”) which in 2009 won 22,098 votes and this time just 11,961 votes, losing one of its directly-elected seats.
Sunday’s biggest winner was the Macau United Citizens Association headed by prominent businessman-cum-sitting lawmaker Chan Meng Kam that increased its vote count from 17,014 in the 2009 election to 26,385. Chan is a leader of Macau’s Fujianese community that accounts for about a quarter of the local population.
The Macau-Guangdong Union headed by businessman Mak Soi Kun increased its votes from 10,348 in 2009 to 16,248 votes on Sunday, winning one more seat.
However, the New Macau Development Union’s vote count fell from 14,099 in 2009 to 13,086 on Sunday. The group, which is headed by SJM casino executive Angela Leong On Kei, is appealing the election result, insisting that some of its votes were unfairly declared invalid.
The total number of voters to cast their ballots rose from 149,006 in 2009 to 151,881 on Sunday. However, the voter turnout dropped from 59.9 percent four years ago to 55 percent.
There were 4,345 invalid and 1,083 blank votes on Sunday.(macaunews)