This undated file photo shows the flag of the Macao Special Administrative Region. (PHOTO / VCG)
MACAO – The election of the seventh Legislative Assembly of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) kicked off Sunday morning.
Voting started at 9:00 am and is scheduled to conclude at 9:00 pm local time. The preliminary results are expected to come out early Monday morning.
A total of 126 candidates from 14 teams will run for the 14 directly-elected seats, while 12 candidates from five vocational groups will run for the 12 indirectly-elected seats
The seventh legislature will be composed of 33 seats, including 14 directly-elected seats, 12 indirectly-elected seats, and seven others appointed by the Macao SAR's chief executive within 15 days after receiving the reviewed vote counting of direct and indirect election.
A total of 126 candidates from 14 teams will run for the 14 directly-elected seats, while 12 candidates from five vocational groups will run for the 12 indirectly-elected seats.
ALSO READ: Macao to hold legislative election Sunday
After casting his vote, Ho Iat Seng, chief executive of the Macao SAR, called upon voters to actively go to the ballot.
Ho expressed his hope that the legislators perform their supervisory power over the SAR government in accordance with the Basic Law of the Macao SAR.
Anti-corruption officials said they have carried out around 8,000 inspections since the election work began and the situation was satisfying.
Due to the impacts of COVID-19, the SAR government has adopted strict prevention measures for the campaigning period.
On voting day, voters were required to wear face masks, have their body temperatures checked and present health codes. There were also signs reminding voters to keep social distance and avoid gathering.
ALSO READ: Macao SAR Legislative Assembly election campaigns kick off
A female Macao resident with the surname Lei told Xinhua that she hoped newly elected legislators can speak for the public on topics such as medical care and housing.
A man surnamed Yu said he hoped the new legislators can bring about new changes to the Legislative Assembly against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has dealt a heavy blow on Macao's economy.
There are a total of 325,180 eligible voters in the direct election, 18,160 more than the previous election in 2017.
Meanwhile, 813 legal person voters, as compared with 858 for the previous election in 2017, will vote in the indirect election.
READ MORE: Central govt backs Macao court on election candidate ruling
As many as 42 polling stations were set up for the voting, while three mobile polling stations were also set up so as to ensure the voting rights of residents who are under medical observation at designated hotels.