Editorial | Pan-democrats, Hato and hate

Paulo Coutinho

He was bluffing. By 10pm yesterday, Jason Chao shared via several online platforms a link to a page where New Macau would announce the universal suffrage unofficial results. Only after 1 am the Electoral Affairs Commission (CAEAL) started to show some results, to take the lead over the democrats’ website by 2:30am when they published online the provisional final results and the allocation of the 14 seats universally elected.

It was a slightly better performance compared to 2013, but once again commentators on live broadcasts had to resort to the democrats’ website to analyze the results and predict the conversion of votes in mandates of this unique and twisted voting system.

Notwithstanding a residual increment of the turnout (+2%) once again the “Abstention Party” was the biggest party: 43% or 130,743 registered voters decided to abstain.

Concerning the casted votes (174,872), the greatest winner of this election was the pan-democratic camp, electing five candidates combined: José Pereira Coutinho, Au Kam San, Ng Kuok Cheong, Agnes Lam and Sulu Sou, the last two being new comers to the Legislative Assembly (AL).

On the other hand, the traditional pro-Beijing forces, the lists associated with the Federation of Workers and the Kaifong, must also be seen as winners, returning to the AL with maximum force: four lawmakers elected.

Mak Soi Kun was the most voted candidate, but basically kept the same record of 2013, unlike the greatest losers of Election Day: Chan Meng Kam’s sponsored lists, losing one seat, and Melinda Chan, who failed re-election.

The Hato factor, and a hate vote towards the government may have influenced the results.

Nothing will change much in the AL in the future – except for a breeze of fresh air and, possibly, a richer debate – while this cladded system persists and the government continues to disrespect the Basic Law provision that clearly postulates – in letter and spirit – a democratic AL.

As everything in life, if we don’t exercise we decay. Is that the idea? More and more, it seems so.


Categories Editorial Macau Online