macaupost

Group vows to clean up elections, wants popular vote

2017-09-13 08:02     Comment:1

Lawyer Hong Weng Kuan, who heads the United Citizens for Building Macau Association, No. 19 on Sunday’s ballot, said yesterday his group was determined to clean up the city’s future legislative elections. The group also demands universal suffrage for electing the chief executive and all lawmakers.

Currently, 14 of the 33 members of the legislature are elected by popular vote, or 42 percent of the total.

Hong, a former policeman, is the first-ranked candidate of the group while Cheong Fan, a dentist, is the second-ranked candidate. Hong’s group comprises five candidates.

It’s the second time Hong is running in the direct election. Four years ago, his group got about 800 votes.

Speaking to The Macau Post Daily yesterday at his office in Areia Preta, Hong said he had decided to run again because the government’s way of running the city was not meeting residents’ expectations.

Hong said he supported the election of the chief executive and all lawmakers by popular vote, adding he believed that universal suffrage “is Macau’s only way forward”.

According to Hong, his group supports democracy and clean elections. He said his group was “absolutely” against electoral graft, adding that only “pro-government” candidates were giving registered voters presents or treating them to meals and then asking them to vote for their groups. Hong lamented: “Without contributing anything [to society], they become lawmakers.

“If nobody promotes clean elections [and universal suffrage], only rich people can become lawmakers and the chief executive,” Hong said, adding that the election system should be used to elect capable people as lawmakers.

He also said the two-week official campaign period was not long enough for candidates to approach their potential supporters and introduce their groups’ political platforms to them.

Hong also said there were too many restrictions set up by the Legislative Assembly Electoral Affairs Committee (CAEAL) “It’s not a campaign period. It’s ‘non-campaign’ period instead,” Hong said.

The campaign period runs from September 2 to Friday night.

Hong urged the government to allow candidates to publish their political platforms on their websites before the start of the official campaign period so that registered voters could have more time to get to know the candidates’ ideas.

According to Hong, the third-ranked candidate of his group works for the Macau Custom Service while the fourth- and fifth- ranked candidates are lawyers.


Lawyer Hong Weng Kuan, the first-ranked candidate of the United Citizens for Building Macau Association, No. 19 on Sunday’s ballot, poses at his office in Areia Preta yesterday. Photo: Debby Seng

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