Politics of Macau

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Politics of Macau is a framework of political system, dominated by the People's Republic of China. It includes the legislature, the judiciary, the government, and a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government, led by the Chief Executive.

Constitutional role of Macau[edit]

In accordance with Article 31 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, Macau has Special Administrative Region status, which provides constitutional guarantees for implementing the policy of "one country, two systems" and the constitutional basis for enacting the Basic Law of the Macau Special Administrative Region. Although geographically part of Guangdong Province, the Macau Special Administrative Region is directly under the authority of the central government of the People's Republic of China in Beijing, which controls the foreign affairs and defence of Macau but otherwise grants the region "a high degree of authority." The Basic Law took force upon handover of sovereignty from Portugal on 20 December 1999, and is to remain in effect for fifty years (that is, until 2049).

Macau's seven deputies to the National People's Congress (NPC) are selected by an electoral conference; they attended their first session of the NPC in Beijing in March 2000. Previously, in December 1999, the NPC Standing Committee approved the membership of the NPC Committee for the Basic Law of the Macau Special Administrative Region, chaired by NPC Vice Chairman Qiao Xiaoyang, for a five-year term. Half of the ten members are from Macau, the others from mainland China. Macau also has representation on the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

The headquarters of Macau Government

Head of Government[edit]

Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
Chief of State (PRC President) Xi Jinping Communist Party of China 14 March 2013
Chief of Central Government (PRC Premier) Li Keqiang Communist Party of China 15 March 2012
Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On Non-partisan 20 December 2009

The Chief Executive of Macau is appointed by the People's Republic of China's central government after selection by an election committee, whose members are nominated by corporate bodies. The chief executive appears before a cabinet, the Executive Council, of between 7 and 11 members. The term of office of the chief executive is 5 years, and no individual may serve for more than two consecutive terms. The governor has strong policymaking and executive powers similar to those of a president. These powers are, however, limited from above by the central government in Beijing, to whom the governor reports directly, and from below (to a more limited extent) by the legislature.

In May 1999, Edmund Ho, a community leader and banker, was the first PRC-appointed chief executive of the Macau SAR, having replaced General de Rocha Viera on 20 December 1999. He was elected by the 200-member Chief Executive Selection Committee. Ho, born in Macau in 1955, was the first Chinese person to govern the region since the 1550s. Prior to 20 December 1999, Ho nominated major officials in the new government and carried out other transfer tasks. Ho was re-elected for a second term in 2004 and was succeeded by Fernando Chui in 2009.

The executive branch of the Macau government has the following cabinet departments, each headed by a secretary: Administration and Justice, Economic and Financial Affairs, Security, Social Affairs and Culture, and Transport and Public Works. There also are two commissions, Against Corruption and Audit, and a chief public prosecutor. Upon Macau's reversion to China, the executive offices were moved from Macau Government House temporarily to the Banco Tai Fung.

Executive[edit]

The Executive Council decides on matters of policy, the introduction of bills to the Legislative Assembly of Macau and the drafting of subordinate legislation. The Council consists of 11 members including the Chief Executive.

Cabinet[edit]

The cabinet consists of 5 secretariats of departments led by a Chief:

Principal officials[edit]

Legislative branch[edit]

The legislative organ of the territory is the Legislative Assembly, a 33-member body comprising fourteen directly elected members, twelve indirectly elected members representing functional constituencies and seven members appointed by the chief executive. The Legislative Assembly is responsible for general lawmaking, including taxation, the passing of the budget and socioeconomic legislation. Terms are for four years, with annual sessions running from 15 October to 16 August. There are several standing committees in the assembly that perform the following functions: examination and issuance of reports and statements on projects and proposals of law, on resolutions and deliberations, and on proposals of alteration presented to the Legislative Assembly; examination of petitions submitted to the Legislative Assembly; voting on issues as approved in general by the Legislative Assembly General Meeting; and answering questions raised by the president or the General Meeting.

The last election was held in 2017 and the current Legislative Assembly is chaired by its president, businessman Ho Iat Seng (賀一誠), who is assisted by the vice president, Chui Sai Cheong (崔世昌), the elder brother of Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On.

Elections[edit]

e • d Summary of the 17 September 2017 Legislative Assembly of Macau election results[1]
Political affiliation
Popular votes
% of Votes
Change in
% of vote
Seats
Net change
in seats
Pro-Beijing parties
20 Macau-Guangdong Union (UMG) 17,214 9.97 Decrease1.12 2 Steady
16 Union for Development (UPD) 16,696 9.67 Increase1.50 2 Increase1
9 Macau United Citizens' Association (ACUM) - List 1 14,879 8.62 Decrease9.40 1 Decrease2
2 Progress Promotion Union (UPP) - List 1 12,340 7.15 Decrease3.65 1 Decrease1
14 New Macau Development Union (NUDM) 10,452 6.05 Decrease2.89 1 Steady
8 Macau Citizens’ Development Association (ACDM) - ACUM List 2 10,103 5.85 N/A 1 Increase1
11 Alliance for a Happy Home (ABL) - UPP List 2 9,496 5.50 N/A 1 Increase1
New pro-Beijing
4 Civic Watch (Cívico) 9,590 5.56 Increase1.99 1 Increase1
Pro-Democracy parties
6 New Hope (NE) 14,386 8.33 Decrease0.63 1 Decrease1
13 New Democratic Macau Association (ANMD) 11,381 6.59 Increase0.56 1 Steady
3 Democratic Prosperous Macau Association (APMD) - ANM List 1 10,080 5.84 Decrease1.66 1 Steady
7 New Macau Progressives (ANPM) - ANM List 2 9,213 5.34 N/A 1 Increase1
No legislative representation
18 Alliance for Change (Mudar) 8,186 4.74 Decrease1.24 0 Decrease1
15 Synergy Power (PS) 7,162 4.15 N/A 0 Steady
25 Front Line of Casino Workers (LFTC) 3,126 1.81 N/A 0 Steady
24 Pearl Horizon Buyers’ Rights Defence Union (UPHDD) 2,399 1.39 N/A 0 Steady
22 Mutual Help Grassroots (Grassroots) 1,350 0.78 N/A 0 Steady
12 Citizens’ Power (PC) 1,305 0.76 N/A 0 Steady
19 United Citizens for Building Macau Association (ACUCM) 904 0.52 N/A 0 Steady
21 The Aurora of Grassroots (Aurora) 823 0.48 N/A 0 Steady
10 Powers of Political Thought (PPP) 672 0.39 N/A 0 Steady
17 Ou Mun Kong I (OMKI) 393 0.23 N/A 0 Steady
23 Association of Macau Activism for Democracy (ID) 279 0.16 Decrease 0.47 0 Steady
1 New Ideals of Macau (NIM) 199 0.12 N/A 0 Steady
Withdrew
5 Pink Love Citizens (Rosa) Steady
Total and Turnout 174,872 100 14 Steady
Valid votes 172,628 98.72
Invalid votes 1,300 0.74
Blank votes 944 0.54
Eligible voters 305,615
Functional constituencies and appointed members
Macau Union of Employers Interests (OMKC) 781 4 Steady
Federation of Employees Associations (CCCAE) 1,012 2 Steady
1 Macau Union of Medical Professional Interests (UIMM) 205 37.55 N/A 1 Increase1
2 Macau Union of Professional Interests (OMCY) 341 62.45 Decrease37.55 2 Decrease1
Association for Promotion of Social Services and Education (APSSE) 1,559 1 Steady
Excellent Culture and Sport Union (União Excelente) 1,499 2 Steady
Members appointed by the Chief Executive 7 Steady

Judiciary[edit]

The Court of Final Appeal is the court of last resort in the Macau Special Administrative Region.

The legal system is based largely on Portuguese law. The territory has its own independent judicial system, with a high court. Judges are selected by a committee and appointed by the chief executive. Foreign judges may serve on the courts. In July 1999 the chief executive appointed a seven-person committee to select judges for the SAR. Twenty-four judges were recommended by the committee and were then appointed by Mr. Ho. Included are three judges who serve on the Macau SAR's highest court, the Court of Final Appeal (CFA): 39-year-old Sam Hou Fai (who will be chief justice), 32-year-old Chu Kin, and the 46-year-old Viriato Manuel Pinhiero de Lima.

Political pressure groups and leaders[edit]

Foreign Affairs[edit]

The central government in Beijing controls the foreign affairs of Macau. The Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in the Macao Special Administrative Region opened its office in Macau on 20 December 1999. A central government agency, the commission interacts with the Macau government in matters of foreign policy. It also processes applications from foreign nations and international organisations wishing to establish consulates or representative offices in Macau. Macau is also authorised to handle some external affairs on its own. These affairs include economic and cultural relations and agreements it concludes with states, regions, and international organisations. In such matters, Macau functions under the name "Macao, China." Macau displays the flag and national emblem of the People's Republic of China but is also authorised to display its own regional flag and emblem. Taiwanese organisations in Macau are allowed to continue operations and are required to abide by the Basic Law.

International organisation participation[edit]

CCC, ESCAP (associate), International Maritime Organization (associate), Interpol (subbureau), UNESCO (associate), WMO, WToO (associate), WTrO

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Resultado da Eleição dos Deputados à Assembleia Legislativa da Região Administrativa Especial de Macau por Sufrágio Directo e Indirecto" [Results of the legislative election of the Macau special administrative region by direct and indirect suffrage] (in Portuguese). Printing Bureau of Macau SAR government. 28 September 2017. Retrieved 13 October 2017.