Casinos win, Democrats lose in Macau elections

Pro-Beijing candidates and casino bosses were the big winners in last week’s elections in Macau, picking up 12 of the 14 directly elected seats and leaving the Democrats with just two.  

Only Ng Kuok-cheong of Associacao de Prospero Macau Democratico and Au Kam-san of the Associaciacao de Novo Macau Democratico were successful, gaining 10,986 and 8,826 votes respectively, leaving the pro democracy camp one legislator shy of the previous legislature. Kwai Tsui-hang of the UPD lost out to Angela Leong On-kei with only 11,961 votes to Ms Leong’s 13,086. Chan Meng Kam who owns and operates the Golden Dragon Casino captured the largest number votes, electing three seats. Academics blamed the fact that the Democrats had separated their list into three as the main cause for their lack of success. Meanwhile, Angela Leong has vowed to appeal the vote for her second candidate who lost by a slim margin, citing a high number of spoiled ballots. There have been allegations of illegal activities with regards to offering incentives to vote, with two people having been arrested and the Commissioner Against Corruption, Fong Man-chong, admitting that some activities had “tested the boundary of legality”.  Mr Fong also hinted at limiting the number of seats available to gaming candidates in the future, suggesting that an assembly comprising stakeholders from other industries would be more balanced and beneficial for the enclave.