Macau’s pro-democracy camp has lost further ground in the territory’s legislature, according to preliminary results yesterday from an election marred by low turnout and a ban on “disloyal” candidates.
Authorities in Macau had disqualified 21 candidates — most of them from the pro-democracy camp — from Sunday’s election on national security grounds.
They were accused of disloyalty to China after they commemorated the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre and honored rights advocate and Beijing critic and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波).
Photo: AP / Macau Government Information Bureau
Of the 33 seats in Macau’s Legislative Assembly, 14 are directly elected and a preliminary count yesterday showed that the pro-democracy camp won just two — half of what it got in the previous vote in 2017.
The other 19 lawmakers include 12 indirectly chosen from professional sectors and seven appointed by Macau’s chief executive.
The general turnout of just over 42 percent was the lowest since the territory was handed over to China in 1999, but authorities dismissed suggestions that it was caused by the disqualification of pro-democracy candidates.
Macau Electoral Affairs Committee President Tong Hio Fong (唐曉峰) blamed the low level of participation on COVID-19 restrictions, hot weather and heavy rain.
The disqualification of pro-democracy candidates in Macau followed similar rulings in Hong Kong, where authorities have moved to crush dissent and the territory’s pro-democracy movement with a National Security Law and a radical electoral overhaul.
The Lithuanian Ministry of National Defense recommended that consumers avoid buying Chinese mobile phones and advised people to throw away the ones they have now after a government report found the devices had built-in censorship capabilities. Flagship phones sold in Europe by China’s smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp (小米) have a built-in ability to detect and censor terms such as “Free Tibet,” “Long live Taiwan independence” or “democracy movement,” Lithuania’s state-run cybersecurity body said on Tuesday. The capability in Xiaomi’s Mi 10T 5G phone software had been turned off for the “European Union region,” but can be turned on remotely at any time,
CLOSE COOPERATION: A House of Representatives bill suggests inviting Taiwan’s navy to participate in the world’s largest international maritime military exercises The US House of Representatives on Thursday passed its annual defense policy bill, which includes provisions recommending that Taiwan be included in next year’s Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) and enhanced cooperation between Taiwan and the US National Guard. The House approved the US$777.9 billion National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 in a 316-113 vote. The 1,390-page bill includes three major provisions related to Taiwan under sections 1243, 1247 and 1248. Section 1248 recommends that the US invite Taiwan’s navy to participate in next year’s RIMPAC. Taiwan has never been invited to participate in the event, which is the world’s largest
‘FIGHT FOR VICTORY’: Eric Chu said his election victory would be the beginning of the DPP’s worries and that he would open all channels of communication with China Former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) was yesterday elected Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman in a four-way race that included outgoing chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣). Chu, 60, garnered 85,164 votes, or 45 percent of the 187,998 KMT members who cast ballots. Sun Yat-sen School president Chang Ya-chung (張亞中) trailed behind with 60,632 votes, followed by Chiang with 35,090 votes and former Changhua County commissioner Cho Po-yuan (卓伯源) with 5,133 votes. Voter turnout was 50.71 percent. This will be Chu’s second time heading the party. He was elected KMT chairman in an unopposed by-election in January 2015 and resigned in January
BACK IN BUSINESS: Amusement arcades, Internet cafes, KTVs and board game venues could also reopen next week if the COVID-19 situation does not worsen, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday eased some COVID-19 restrictions for public transportation, performances, exhibitions and sports event venues, effective immediately, as it also announced its conditions for reopening some banned recreational venues, including KTVs and amusement arcades, from Tuesday next week. As the local COVID-19 situation is under control, some ministries have modified the disease prevention guidelines for the businesses they supervise, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. “Starting from this week, eating and drinking will be allowed in the stations of Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp and the Taiwan Railways Administration,” Chen