A record number of 22 groups have submitted nomination signatures to stand in the upcoming direct legislative elections of which 14 seats will be directly elected by popular vote, while five groups have submitted signatures for the indirect elections whose 12 seats will be voted for by registered association representatives.
The 12 indirect-election candidates are set for a shoo-in since all of them are running uncontested for the 12 seats at stake. The 12 candidates were chosen behind closed doors by their respective association representatives.
It is a local tradition that in the indirect election the number of candidates equals the number of seats up for grabs, The Macau Post Daily pointed out.
In the last direct election in 2009, a total of 16 groups vied for the then 12 directly-elected seats while only four groups came up with a total of 10 candidates for the then 10 indirectly elected seats.
Both the number of directly- and indirectly-elected-seats has been increased by two each for the September 15 ballot, according to a formula known as “+2+2”.
Macau’s proportional representation system makes it virtually impossible for any group to win more than two directly-elected seats because of which the grassroots New Macau Association has split into three groups this time, one more than four years ago. Only each group’s first- and second-ranked candidates have a realistic chance of winning a seat.
Each group must field at least four and no more than 14 candidates, considering that there are only 14 directly-elected seats up for grabs. Individual candidacies are not allowed.
Even though there are only 12 candidates for the 12 indirectly-elected seats, Macau’s amended election law requires that a formal election still be held. Four years ago, the 10 candidates for the then 10 indirectly-elected seats were simply declared winners “by default”.
All the groups’ signature nomination lists have still to be officially confirmed by the government. Only registered voters are entitled to nominate candidates.
In the direct election process, groups needed to submit at least 300 and no more than 500 valid votes.
After the direct and indirect elections, the chief executive will appoint the legislature’s seven remaining members.(macaunews)