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Election reformer dies

2017-03-20 08:00     Comment:0

Ex-legislator Rui Afonso, widely known as the prime mover in the city’s 1980s electoral reforms that gave local Chinese the right to vote, died in Lisbon on Friday, Portuguese media reported at the weekend.

According to the reports, the 70-year-old lawyer died after a prolonged illness.

Afonso was a member of the Macau Legislative Assembly from 1984 to 1997. He headed the Public Administration and Civil Service Bureau (SAFP) in the 1980s when he was one of the driving forces behind a profound reform of the city’s election system which then restricted the right to vote to local Portuguese nationals. Thanks to the reform, residents were granted the right to vote irrespective of nationality and place of birth, thereby giving local Chinese not holding Portuguese nationality the right to participate in the electoral process both as voters and candidates. Residents were given fiscal incentives to register to vote.

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