Friday, October 31, 2014   

Beijing slams Macau's democracy vote
(07-10 19:05)

Beijing has slammed an unofficial referendum on electoral reform to be held in the gambling mecca of Macau, local media said Thursday, after almost 800,000 turned out for a similar poll in Hong Kong.
The former Portuguese colony returned to Chinese rule in 1999 and has a separate legal system from the mainland. Like Hong Kong, Macau's leader is known as its chief executive and is chosen by a pro-Beijing electoral committee.
A statement from Beijing's liaison office in Macau said the enclave had no authority'' to hold the poll, which organizers said was part of a fight to establish a democratic system.
"An administrative region has no authority to establish a system of referendum or organize any activity relating to referendum,'' a report in the Macau Daily Times cited the statement as saying Thursday.
Macau's poll is slated to run between August 24 and August 30 -- just ahead of the naming of the enclave's new leader on August 31 -- and activists are hoping for a turnout of 10,000 in the city of 550,000.
Questions include whether there should be universal suffrage for the 2019 chief executive elections and how confident voters are in sole candidate Fernando Chui, who has been in the position since 2009.
Macau government spokesperson Alexis Tam described the poll as "illegal'' and "invalid'', the paper said, in echoes of Beijing's criticism of Hong Kong's recent unofficial referendum.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying also described his city's poll as a "so-called referendum'' with no legal foundation.
In May around 20,000 people in Macau marched against a bill to allow government ministers' generous retirement packages.
"Macau citizens were long considered apathetic to politics, but the big protest in May changed everything, with more young people and Macau citizens taking to the streets without fear,'' poll organizer Jason Chao said. --AFP   
Other Hong Kong breaking news:
Wine festival draws 22,000 visitors (2 hrs 43 mins ago)
Lawmakers reject motions for Occupy probe (10-31 15:39)
Teenager linked to bomb scare appears in court (10-31 15:38)
Bid to smuggle liquid cocaine thwarted (10-31 15:36)
HSBC executive's comments trigger online outrage (10-31 15:30)
Police warn people to avoid radical protestors (10-30 18:18)
Activists setting up police complaints mechanism (10-30 18:03)
Waxwork Chinese leaders get democratic makeover in Hong Kong (10-30 17:57)
Senior civil servants in line for pay rise (10-30 16:53)
Concern over proposed discrimination amendments (10-30 16:52)

More breaking news >>

© 2014 The Standard, The Standard Newspapers Publishing Ltd.
Contact Us | About Us | Newsfeeds | Subscriptions | Print Ad. | Online Ad. | Street Pts


Home | Top News | Local | Business | China | ViewPoint | CityTalk | World | Sports | People | Central Station | Spree | Features

The Standard

Trademark and Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014, The Standard Newspaper Publishing Ltd., and its related entities. All rights reserved.  Use in whole or part of this site's content is prohibited.   Use of this Web site assumes acceptance of the
Terms of Use, Privacy Policy Statement and Copyright Policy.  Please also read our Ethics Statement.