Commentary: Only patriots must govern Macao

(Xinhua) 09:18, August 02, 2021

MACAO, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- The court of final appeal of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) on Saturday ruled against the appeals by trustees of three candidate lists for the upcoming Legislative Assembly election after the Electoral Affairs Commission refused to accept the lists for failing to include a minimum of four qualified candidates each as required by the election law.

The ruling safeguarded the constitutional order of the Macao SAR as stipulated in the Constitution of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Basic Law of the Macao SAR, manifesting justice and authority in the SAR.

It is stipulated in the Basic Law of the Macao SAR that members of the Legislative Assembly are legally obliged to uphold the Basic Law and pledge allegiance to the SAR. As a SAR of the PRC, the governing power of Macao must rest in the hands of patriots.

This is not a lofty standard or requirement, but rather basic political ethics. It is the core of the "one country, two systems" principle and the fundamental rule that must be followed in order to comprehensively and accurately implement the "one country, two systems" principle.

"Patriots administering Macao" is, in nature, consistent with upholding the laws and pledging allegiance to the SAR. Only those who uphold the laws and pledge allegiance can be categorized as patriots. As an important part of the Macao SAR governance structure, members of the Legislative Assembly must, first and foremost, be patriots.

Not a single non-patriot must ever be allowed into the SAR's governance structure or to govern by any means. This is an indispensable bottom line that must be safeguarded and implemented in examining the qualifications of Legislative Assembly election candidates.

Exercising judicial power is a sacred duty of courts at different levels in the SAR, which is endowed by the Constitution and the Macao SAR Basic Law, and an important mission for the courts to safeguard the SAR's constitutional order, pursue equality and justice and promote orderly governance of the society in accordance with law.

Both the decisions of the commission and the court were made in accordance with the Constitution, the Basic Law of Macao SAR and the election law of the Legislative Assembly, with adequate legal evidence backed by solid facts.

The decision and the court ruling were based on the fact that some candidates on the rejected lists did not uphold the laws and pledge allegiance to the SAR. They colluded with external forces to propagate, support or participate in "Hong Kong independence," "Taiwan independence" and other separatist activities, or took part in activities undermining national security and subverting state power.

These facts of not upholding the laws or not pledging allegiance went far beyond the scope of supervising the administration of the SAR government. Such people who attempt to seize positions through election and further conspire to pursue anti-China and destabilizing activities in Macao must be blocked from the SAR's governance structure.

The security of elections is a major issue that concerns the country's sovereignty, security and development interests. Patriots administering Macao with anti-China and destabilizing forces in the SAR out of the picture will help build a strong security barrier, which complies with legal principles and follows public will.

The move will also help build a culture of patriotism, reason and pragmatism in the Legislative Assembly and improve its efficacy of performing constitutional duties.

Voting for the election will start in over 40 days. It is expected that the voting goes smoothly and eventually purely patriotic candidates with sound social image and strong governance ability are elected.

It is also expected that newly-elected legislators will perform their duties conscientiously and actively take on responsibilities and make accomplishments. 

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


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