Total number of polling stations for September election kept at 36

Members of the Electoral Affairs Commission for the Legislative Assembly Election meet the press after a Commission meeting.

The Electoral Affairs Commission for the Legislative Assembly Election has decided to maintain at 36 the number of polling stations to be used for this year’s Legislative Assembly Election, which set for 12 September.

The Commission Chairman, Mr Tong Hio Fong, told reporters on Wednesday (12 May), after a Commission meeting, that four venues that had been used for the 2017 election would not be used this time, due either to them being occupied for other functions, due to construction work, or due to the venue having insufficient space. One of the four was the Macao Forum building, which was now a nucleic acid test centre. The Commission had identified four other venues located close to the discontinued polling stations, as replacement venues.

In addition, Mr Tong said that, while it was not a direct requirement under the Legislative Assembly Election Law, certain types of civil servant were obliged to maintain political neutrality. He gave as an example public security officers regulated by the General Rules for Disciplined Personnel of Security Forces. Political neutrality was a long-standing practice expected from certain types of civil servant, adding that the Commission mentioned the topic because an association had raised enquiries on it, Mr Tong added.

For civil servants required to display political neutrality, if they had signed an application form for the endorsement of a nomination committee but the form had not yet been submitted to the Commission, they should withdraw their declaration of endorsement. If such an application form already had been submitted to the Commission, they were advised to notify their department, Mr Tong said.

The Chairman also mentioned that the Commission had received an aggregate of four application forms for endorsement of nomination committees so far. Two of those applications had been withdrawn, including one for a nomination committee with approved legal status.

In his comments to reporters, Mr Tong said withdrawals in those cases had been decided by the respective trustees of the would-be nomination committees. It was the trustees’ right to do so. The Commission would not enquire about the reasons for the respective withdrawals.

People wishing to form nomination committees on behalf of those seeking to contest the 2021 election, may submit their applications before 15 June, for the Commission to review the legal status of nomination committees.

The Commission issued a reminder that voters must provide to the Public Administration and Civil Service Bureau, on or before 31 May, any updated information regarding a change of residential address, as each voter would be assigned a polling station based on the address held on file.

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