Macao, 94% of the population wants universal suffrage

In an online vote, 5351 people declared themselves in favor; 236 against. The pro-democracy New Macau Association's survey ended three days earlier due to threats and hacker attacks. A demonstration in support of the democratic movement in Hong Kong aborted.

Macao (AsiaNews / Agencies) - 94% of the population in the former Portuguese colony wants universal suffrage in the election of the governor.

This is what emerges from an online voting survey launched by the pro-democracy New Macau Association. Yesterday, the group released the results: out of a population of around 670 thousand residents, 5698 people voted. Among them, 5351 support universal suffrage; 236 are against it; 111 abstained.

The online vote was supposed to end on August 25. The pro-democracy website hastily concluded operations on August 23, having received threats and hacker attacks from China.

At present, the city leader is elected by a 400-person committee, which includes great business personalities, professionals, representatives of other sectors of society. On August 25th, the restricted electoral committee elected Ho Iat-seng head of the executive. Ho, a businessman, was the only candidate, in a committee composed mostly of pro-Beijing people.

The New Macau association had carried out a similar poll in 2014. Even then, out of 8688 voters, 95% declared themselves in favor of universal suffrage. From the point of view of democracy, Macau's problems are very similar to those in Hong Kong. Even in the former British colony the chief executive is elected by a committee - mostly chosen by Beijing - from candidates chosen by Beijing.

In recent days, some Macao groups had launched the idea of ​​a peaceful demonstration in support of the Hong Kong democratic movement. Despite having received threats from pro-China groups and the police ban, several dozen people participated in the demonstration (see photo). Seven of them were detained.