Indirectly-elected lawmakers Kou Hoi In and Vong Hin Fai Wednesday retracted their jointly-proposed draft resolution – a document that they submitted to the Legislative Assembly (AL) last week – on whether the suspension of a lawmaker by his or her peers is a “political act”.
The president of the legislature, Ho Iat Seng, accepted the duo’s request to withdraw the draft resolution.
In a statement requesting the withdrawal of the draft resolution, Kou and Vong say they had noticed that the content of their document failed to elaborate on the rationale behind their proposal. They also say in the statement there should be further studies on whether their “political act” proposal should be stipulated by a resolution or by a law.
Last Thursday, the two indirectly-elected legislators jointly proposed the draft resolution in response to directly-elected lawmaker Sulu Sou Ka Hou having filed an appeal to the Court of Second Instance (TSI) over certain legal matters concerning the process and procedure of his suspension as a lawmaker last month.
Sou said in a statement on Wednesday last week he had filed an appeal with the Court of Second Instance (TSI) earlier this month to examine the legality of the process and procedure of his suspension by his peers.
During a plenary session on December 4, Sou was suspended from the Legislative Assembly, when 28 of the 33 members of the legislature voted for his suspension so that he can stand trial for alleged aggravated disobedience during a demonstration outside the residence of Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On in 2016.
It is the first suspension of a lawmaker since the establishment of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) in December 1999.
The draft resolution jointly proposed by Kou, a businessman, and Vong, a lawyer, asserted that according to the Legislative Assembly Lawmakers Statute, the act of deciding whether a lawmaker should be suspended by his or her peers and the act of deciding whether a lawmaker should be disqualified are both “political acts”, adding that such acts are not to be interfered with by any other entities or individuals so as to not affect the operation of the political system stipulated by the Macau Basic Law.
The ill-fated resolution by the two legislators also asserted that according to the Judicial Organisation Framework Law, political acts cannot be subject to appeals by any entity or individual to the judicial system.
According to The Macau Post Daily, speaking to reporters Wednesday after a plenary session in the legislature, Kou said that he and Vong would possibly propose a new draft resolution on the matter again in the future after further studies, in order to consolidate the content of the rationale behind their proposal, depending upon the real situation.
Also speaking to reporters in the legislature, Vong said that he and Kou had decided to withdraw their draft resolution as they believed that the content of their proposal would need to be improved. He also said that there would possibly be an opportunity for him and Kou to propose a new draft resolution on the matter.
The legislature said in a statement on November 13 that the Court of First Instance (TJB) had requested the legislature to make a decision on whether Sou was to be suspended as a lawmaker so that he could stand trial for the alleged crime.
Prosecution of offences allegedly committed by a lawmaker that are punishable by less than three years must be authorised by the legislature, according to the Legislative Assembly Lawmakers Statute.
According to Article 312 of the Macau Penal Code, aggravated disobedience is punishable by a fine or up to two years behind bars.