The objective of this article is to analyze the major trends in post-1999 Macau's political development as evidenced by the evolving role of its legislature as well as the 2001 legislative elections. The article argues that (1) the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) political system, thanks to the constitutional design of its Basic Law and the political convention inherited from the former Portuguese administration, is dominated by the executive branch of power or an 'executive-led' system; (2) the dramatic win by the Association for New Democratic Macau in the direct elections does not suggest a breakthrough in Macau's democratization process because altogether the pro-democracy groups won less than one-third of the total votes; (3) Macau is ruled by a conservative pro-Beijing power elite comprising prominent local business people and leaders of the labour unions and neighbourhood associations; and (4) a new political convention that the MSAR government, though not popularly elected, is accountable to the Macau citizens seems to be emerging. In any event, democratization in Macau is likely to be a very long and gradual process.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Political Science and International Relations