Electoral Affairs Commission rejects complaints filed by disqualified candidates

The Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) for this year’s Legislative Assembly (AL) elections has rejected the complaints filed by three electoral lists who saw all their candidates disqualified.

Last week the EAC announced it disqualified 20 election candidates from five lists citing evidence proving they were disloyal towards the Macau SAR and its Basic Law.

Of these 20 candidates, 15 belonged to three lists that contested the decision, the Macau Democratic Prosperity Association, the New Macau Progressives and the New Macau Progressive Association lists, which include prominent pro-democratic figures such as incumbent legislators António Ng Kuok Cheong and Sulu Sou Ka Hou, plus political activist Scott Chiang and former legislator Paul Chan Wai Chi.

The targetted lists could propose replacements for the disqualified candidates or contest the EAC decision.

The EAC notified the three candidacies’ representatives of the respective decision and posted, this afternoon, the complete list of all candidacies admitted to the September 12 direct elections.

‘Under the terms of the Electoral Law, the representatives of the candidates in question may appeal against the decision of EAC to the Court of Final Appeal, within one day (July 22) after the posting of the aforementioned list,’ the list noted.

Other disqualified candidates included Lo Chun Seng from Macau Victory and two candidates from the Gaming New Macao List, gaming staff unionist Cloee Chao Sao Fong and Lei Man Chao; and two candidates from the Macao Righteousness List, veteran labour rights activist Lee Sio Kuan and Kuok Nai Neng.

However, the Macao Righteousness list was still allowed to run for the elections since it still included at least four eligible members.

The final list of all admitted candidacies includes 128 candidates for direct election, distributed over 14 lists, and 12 candidates for indirect election, distributed over 5 lists.

Upon declaring its decision last week the EAC revealed the criteria used for its disqualification decisions, including statements and actions deemed to go against the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the country’s constitution.

The EAC had previously stated that public comments, including posts on social media, or actions deemed to go against the Communist Party of China (CPC) could have led to the disqualification.

Some of the evidence included public statements in support of a local electoral reform toward universal suffrage.