Drafted AL electoral law amendments expected this year

Secretary for Administration and Justice Sonia Chan Hoi Fan said a preliminary proposal for amending the current Electoral Law for the Legislative Assembly (AL) will be completed by the end of this year, with hopes the amendments to the law can come into force before the next AL election in 2017. The Secretary told reporters yesterday that the amendments to the law will focus on enhancing the competition of indirect elections and strengthening the fairness of the whole election. Co-operating with the city’s graft watchdog, the Commission against Corruption, on the amendments, Ms. Chan said the proposal will also consult public opinion. Regarding two members of legislator Chan Meng Kam’s electoral campaign for the 2013 AL election being found guilty of bribery by the Court of First Instance last week, Ms. Chan said the amendments to the law will also study the issue. Meanwhile, Ms. Chan claimed that the draft for the bill regulating regional judicial co-operation on criminal matters is basically finished. However, she claimed that the government still needs to adjust the draft in detail as it involves the judicial co-operation between Macau and the Mainland, as well as Hong Kong. She said she would try her best to send this bill to the AL for discussion within this year, as scheduled. The Secretary also said that she hopes to sign the agreements on judiciary co-operation with the Mainland and Hong Kong within this year, indicating the discussion on such co-operation with Taiwan has not yet been initiated.