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Politics of Macau
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Politics of Macau takes place in a framework of a political system dominated by the People's Republic of China,
an own legislature, the Chief Executive as the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power
is exercised by the government.

Macau as part of the People's Republic of China

In accordance with Article 31 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, Macau has Special
Administrative Region status, which provides constitutional guarantees for implementing the policy of "one
country, two systems" and the constitutional basis for enacting the Basic Law of the Macau Special Administrative
Region. Although geographically part of Guangdong Province, the Macau Special Administrative Region is directly
under the authority of the central government of the People's Republic of China in Beijing, which controls the
foreign affairs and defense of Macau but otherwise grants the region "a high degree of authority." The Basic Law
took force upon handover of sovereignty from Portugal on December 20, 1999, and is to remain in effect for fifty
years (that is, until 2049).

Macau's seven deputies to the National People's Congress (NPC) are selected by an electoral conference; they
attended their first session of the NPC in Beijing in March 2000. Previously, in December 1999, the NPC Standing
Committee approved the membership of the NPC Committee for the Basic Law of the Macau Special
Administrative Region, chaired by NPC Vice Chairman Qiao Xiaoyang, for a five-year term. Half of the ten
members are from Macau, the others from mainland China. Macau also has representation on the National
Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
Politics and government
of Macau

The headquarters of Macau Government
Politics and government
of Macau

Executive branch
Main article: Chief Executive of Macau

Main office holders
Office                Name                Party              Since
President         Hu Jintao         Communist    March PRC    
                                         Party of            2003
                                                 China                            

Chief                Edmund Ho                               20 Dec
Executive         Hau-wah                                    1999

The Chief Executive of Macau is appointed by the
People's Republic of China's central government after
selection by an election committee, whose members
are nominated by corporate bodies. The chief executive
appears before a cabinet, the Executive Council, of
between 7 and 11 members. The term of office of the
chief executive is 5 years, and no individual may serve
for more than two consecutive terms. The governor has
strong policymaking and executive powers similar to
those
The Legislative Assembly of Macau
of a president. These powers are, however, limited from above by the central
government in Beijing, to whom the governor reports directly, and from below (to a
more limited extent) by the legislature.

In May 1999, Edmund Ho, a community leader and banker, is the first PRC-
appointed chief executive of the Macau SAR, having replaced General de Rocha
Viera on 20 December 1999. He was elected by the 200-member Chief Executive
Selection Committee. Ho, born in Macau in 1955, was the first Chinese person to
govern the region since the 1550s. Prior to 20 December 1999, Ho nominated
major officials in the new government and carried out other transfer tasks. The
executive branch of the Macau government has the following cabinet departments,
each headed by a secretary: Administration and Justice, Economic and Financial
Affairs, Security, Social Affairs and Culture, and Transport and Public Works. There
also are two commissions, Against Corruption and Audit, and a chief public
prosecutor. Upon Macau's reversion to China, the executive offices were moved
from Macau Government House temporarily to the Banco Tai Fung.

Legislative branch

The legislative organ of the territory is the Legislative Assembly, a 29-member body
comprising twelve directly elected members, ten indirectly elected members
representing functional constituencies and seven members appointed by the chief
executive. The Legislative Assembly is responsible for general lawmaking,
including taxation, the passing of the budget and socioeconomic legislation. Terms
are for four years, with annual sessions running from 15 October to 16 August.
There are several standing committees in the assembly that perform the following
functions: examination and issuance of reports and statements on projects and
proposals of law, on resolutions and deliberations, and on proposals of alteration
presented to the Legislative Assembly; examination of petitions submitted to the
Legislative Assembly; voting on issues as approved in general by the Legislative
Assembly General Meeting; and answering questions raised by the president or the
General Meeting.

The last election was held in 2005 and the current Legislative Assembly is chaired
by its president, industrialist Susana Chou (
曹其真), who is assisted by the vice
president, lawyer Lau Cheok Va (
劉焯華).
Political parties and elections

Main article: Macau legislative election, 2005
For other political parties see List of political parties in Macau. An overview on elections and election results is included in Elections in Macau.

Summary of the 25 September 2005 Legislative Assembly of Macau election results

Associations                                                                                                                                                                       Votes                                     %                                Seats
New Democratic Macau Association (Associação Novo Macau Democrático) (民主新澳門)                             23472                                 18.80                                 2
United Citizens Association of Macau (Associação dos Cidadãos Unidos de Macau) (
澳門民聯協進會)       20695                                 16.58                                 2
Union for Development (União para o Desenvolvimento) (
同心協進會)                                                                 16588                                 13.29                                 2
Union for Promoting Progress (União Promotora para o Progresso) (
群力促進會)                                            11985                                    9.60                                 2
Alliance for the Development of Macau (Aliança para Desenvolvimento de Macau) (
澳門發展聯盟)                11642                                    9.33                                 1
New Hope (Nova Esperança) (
新希望)                                                                                                                            9973                                    7.99                                 1
General Union for the Good of Macau (União Geral para O Bem-querer de Macau) (
愛澳聯盟)                         8517                                    6.82                                 1
Convergence for Development (Convergência para o Desenvolvimento) (
繁榮澳門同盟)                                   6079                                    4.87                                 1
Association for Democracy and Social Well-Being of Macau (Associação Pela Democracia e
Bem-estar Social de Macau) (
澳門民主民生協進會)                                                                                                     4356                                    3.49                                 0
New Youth of Macau (Nova Juventude de Macau) (
澳門新青年)                                                                                3060                                    2.45                                 0
Association for Helping the Community and Engagement with the People (Associação de Apoio
à Comunidade e Proximidade do Povo) (
親民愛群協會)                                                                                             2941                                    2.36                                 0
Vision Macau (Visão de Macau) (
澳門前瞻協進會)                                                                                                        1973                                    1.58                                 0
Subtotal (turnout 58.4%)                                                                                                                                               124,845     
Functional constituencies and appointed members
Macau Business Interest Union (
澳門僱主利益聯會) for employers                                                                                                                                                                2
Employees Association Joint Candidature Commission (
僱員團體聯合) for labour                                                                                                                                    2
Macau professional Interest Union (
澳門專業利益聯會) special interests                                                                                                                                                      2
Excellent Culture and Sports Union Association (
優裕文康聯合會) charity, culture, education and sport                                                                                                 2
Members appointed by the Chief Executive                                                                                                                                                                                                           7
Total                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             29
Judiciary

The Court of Final Appeal is the court of last resort in the Macau Special Administrative Region.

The legal system is based largely on Portuguese law. The territory has its own independent judicial system, with a high court. Judges are selected by a committee and appointed by the chief executive.
Foreign judges may serve on the courts. In July 1999 the chief executive appointed a seven-person committee to select judges for the SAR. Twenty-four judges were recommended by the committee
and were then appointed by Mr. Ho. Included are three judges who serve on the Macau SAR's highest court, the Court of Final Appeal (CFA): 39-year-old Sam Hou Fai (who will be chief justice),
32-year-old Chu Kin, and the 46-year-old Viriato Manuel Pinhiero de Lima.

Political pressure groups and leaders

Roman Catholic Church (José Lai, bishop)
Macau Society of Tourism and Entertainment or STDM (Stanley Ho, managing director)
Union for Democracy Development (Antonio Ng Kuok cheong, leader)

Foreign Affairs

The central government in Beijing controls the foreign affairs of Macau. The Commission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs opened its office in Macau on 20 December 1999. A central government
agency, the commission interacts with the Macau government in matters of foreign policy. It also processes applications from foreign nations and international organizations wishing to establish
consulates or representative offices in Macau. Macau is also authorized to handle some external affairs on its own. These affairs include economic and cultural relations and agreements it concludes
with states, regions, and international organizations. In such matters, Macau functions under the name "Macao, China." Macau displays the flag and national emblem of the People's Republic of China
but is also authorized to display its own regional flag and emblem. Taiwanese organizations in Macau are allowed to continue operations and are required to abide by the Basic Law.

International organization participation

CCC, ESCAP (associate), International Maritime Organization (associate), Interpol (subbureau), UNESCO (associate), WMO, WToO (associate), WTrO

See also

Politics of the People's Republic of China
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