Beijing hits back at Macau referendum on electoral reform
Published on Jul 10, 2014 6:50 PM
HONG KONG (AFP) - Beijing has slammed an unofficial referendum on electoral reform to be held in the gambling mecca of Macau, local media said on Thursday, after almost 800,000 turned out for a similar poll in Hong Kong.
The former Portuguese colony returned to Chinese rule in 1999 and has a separate legal system from the mainland. Like Hong Kong, Macau's leader is known as its chief executive and is chosen by a pro-Beijing electoral committee.
A statement from Beijing's liaison office in Macau said the enclave had "no authority" to hold the poll, which organisers said was part of a fight to establish a democratic system.
"An administrative region has no authority to establish a system of referendum or organise any activity relating to referendum," a report in the Macau Daily Times cited the statement as saying Thursday.
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