Portuguese elected to Macao Parliament

in News · 01-10-2005 00:00:00 · 0 Comments

A member of Macao's Portuguese community has won one of a dozen directly elected seats in the territory's legislative elections, whose biggest winner was a pro- democracy group.

José Pereira Coutinho, leader of Macau's civil service association, became the first Portuguese citizen elected to the enclave city's legislative assembly since Lisbon handed over control of its colony to Beijing in 1999.
He was widely backed by the territory's Eurasian voters in Sunday's polls.
Coutinho, also an adviser to expatriate Portuguese in Macau, headed the list of the "Nova Esperança" group. He unsuccessfully stood in the last legislative elections in 2001.
The New Democratic Association, a moderate pro-democracy group, garnered the highest slice of votes (18.2 percent) to send two lawmakers to the legislature.
The group, which analysts say is not likely to affect Macao's amicable ties with Beijing, also took the most votes in the previous elections.
Although urging more voting rights for Macao, the New Democratic Association’s main campaign platform had been better welfare and education for the former Portuguese-run enclave.
Over 58 percent of voters cast their ballots in heavy rain, a higher turnout than the 52 percent recorded in 2001.
Some 125 candidates had run for the 12 directly elected seats in the 29-member assembly. A further 10 were chosen by business and professional groups and seven will be appointed by Chief Executive Edmund Ho. Lusa


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