A total of 5,351 people voted in favour of a universal suffrage Chief Executive election in Macau SAR in the online referendum organised by the New Macau Association (NMA), or 93.9 per cent of the total people that took part in the survey, the organisation announced today.
The online referendum only proposed one question – ‘Do you agree that the Chief Executive of Macau SAR should be elected by universal suffrage?’ – with 5,698 people casting a vote since the initiative was launched on August 15.
The survey was initiated on August 15 and was set to finish at 12 noon on August 25. Meanwhile, 236 participants voted against the proposition with 111 people voting blank.
The CE election was held on August 25, with only 400 members fo the CE Electoral Committee able to take part in the election, and with a sole CE candidate, Ho Iat Seng, elected with 392 votes in favour.
In order to criticize the ‘small circle’ CE election, the NMA organised this online referendum as a way to provide a platform for Macau residents to express their willingness in participating in the CE election and demand for political reforms
However, the NMA claimed that the voting website suffered several cyber-attacks – said to originate from the Mainland China – since its start, while their street booths set to promote the vote had been “disrupted, insulted and even physically attacked by unknown people” which caused the NMA had to seek the assistance of police authorities.
Besides, the association claimed to have received information indicating that the attacks on the voting website were to be intensified on August 22 or might even pose a risk to the safety of their members.
As many participants were unable to vote due to increasing abnormalities of the website, the NMA decided to interrupt the referendum on August 24 in order to ensure the security and integrity of the collected data.
NMA expressed its deep regret on the technological and political threats and attacks, and described them as a “naked violation of the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens”.
Although the referendum’s result is not legally binding, NMA emphasizes that it serves as an important reference for the new Macau SAR government, which should strive to reinitiate political reforms and set a timetable and guideline for setting a universal suffrage CE Election.