The number of groups who have submitted nomination signatures to the Legislative Assembly Electoral Affairs Committee (CAEAL) already exceeds the number of lists who ran in the last direct election, official data showed Wednesday.
CAEAL President Tong Hio Fong underlined Wednesday that 21 groups have already submitted nomination signatures to stand in the upcoming direct legislative elections. 14 seats will be directly elected by popular vote.
Four years ago, the committee received 22 groups’ applications, but only 20 were approved to stand in the direct election.
The direct and indirect legislative election will take place on September 17.
According to The Macao Post Daily the deadline for submitting registered voters’ signatures is next Tuesday. After the direct and indirect elections, the chief executive will appoint the legislature’s seven remaining members.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a regular meeting of the government-appointed committee at the Public Administration Building, Tong revealed that two groups have already submitted signatures endorsing their participation in the indirect election whose 12 seats will be chosen by registered association representatives. He did not identify the groups.
According to Tong, a judge by profession, six of the applications for the direct and indirect elections have already been approved by the committee.
Tong also said the number of registered voters who have endorsed more than one election candidature nomination form has increased from 14 last week to 92 as of Tuesday, adding his committee had met about a dozen voters to verify if they knew the consequences of their action before signing the forms.
According to the law, each registered voter can only sign one nomination form.
Commenting on the steep increase in the number, Tong said: “(I) don’t rule out the possibility that (the number) will continue to rise since more groups will submit signatures (to the committee) later.”
Each nomination form of those planning to run in the direct election must be endorsed by a minimum of 300 and a maximum of 500 registered voters. The minimum number of nomination signatures required in the indirect election process is 20 percent of the respective sector’s registered association representatives.