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Beijing hits back at Macau referendum on electoral reform

Published on Jul 10, 2014 6:50 PM
 
Voters are guided inside a polling station during a civil referendum held by Occupy Central in Hong Kong on June 22, 2014. Beijing has slammed an unofficial referendum on electoral reform to be held in the gambling mecca of Macau, local media said on Thursday, July 10, 2014, after almost 800,000 turned out for a similar poll in Hong Kong. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

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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