Introduction of the Legislative Assembly
According to the Basic Law of the Macao Special Administrative Region (hereinafter referred to as Basic Law), the Macao Special Administrative Region shall enjoy the legislative power, and the Legislative Assembly shall be the legislature of the Region.
Functions and Powers of the Legislative Assembly
According to Article 71 of the Basic Law, the Legislative Assembly shall exercise the following powers and functions:
(1) To enact, amend, suspend or repeal laws in accordance with the provisions of this Law and legal procedures;
(2) To examine and approve budgets introduced by the government; and examine the report on audit introduced by the government;
(3) To decide on taxation according to government motions and approve debts to be undertaken by the government;
(4) To receive and debate the policy addresses of the Chief Executive;
(5) To debate any issue concerning public interests;
(6) To receive and handle complaints from Macao residents;
(7) If a motion initiated jointly by one-third of all the members of the Legislative Assembly charges the Chief Executive with serious breach of law or dereliction of duty and if he or she refuses to resign, the Assembly may, by a resolution give a mandate to the President of the Court of Final Appeal to form an independent investigation committee to carry out investigation. If the committee considers the evidence sufficient to substantiate such charges, the Assembly may pass a motion of impeachment by a two-thirds majority of all its members and report it to the Central People's Government for decision; and
(8) To summon, as required when exercising the above mentioned powers and functions, persons concerned to testify or give evidence.
Composition of the Legislative Assembly
The Legislative Assembly shall be composed of permanent residents of the Region, and the majority of its members shall be elected. The term of office of the Legislative Assembly shall be four years, except for the first term which shall be stipulated otherwise. In the first term, the Legislative Assembly was composed of 23 members, of whom 8 were directly returned, 8 were indirectly returned and 7 were appointed by the Chief Executive, with its term of office ended on October 15th, 2001. The Legislative Assembly in the second term was composed of 27 members, of whom 10 were directly returned, 10 were indirectly returned and 7 were appointed by the Chief Executive, with its term of office ended in 2005. The Legislative Assembly in the third and fourth terms was composed of 29 members, of whom 12 were directly returned, 10 were indirectly returned and 7 were appointed by the Chief Executive. The Legislative Assembly in the fifth and the subsequent terms shall be composed of 33 members, of whom 14 were directly returned, 12 were indirectly returned and 7 were appointed by the Chief Executive, unless the Method for the Formation of the Legislative Assembly of the Macao Special Administrative Region is modified according to legal procedures. The Legislative Assembly shall have a President and a Vice President who shall be elected by and from among the members. The President and Vice President shall be Chinese citizens who are permanent residents of the Region and have ordinarily resided in Macao for a continuous period of not less than 15 years.
Authorities and functions of the Legislative Assembly
The authorities of the Legislative Assembly comprise of its President, Vice President, the Executive Board, Committee on House Rules, Standing Committees and Monitoring Committees. The Legislative Assembly can create provisional committees for tackling specific issues. The President represents the Legislative Assembly and leads and coordinates its work, and exercises powers according to the provisions of the Basic Law and the Rules of Procedure of the Legislative Assembly. Generally speaking, the term of office of the Legislative Assembly shall be of four years, divided into four sessions, each corresponding to a legislative year. In the ordinary course of events, each legislative session spans from October 16th to August 15th of the following year. The languages used in the Legislative Assembly are Chinese and Portuguese, the two Macau SAR’s official languages.
Administration of the Legislative Assembly
The administrative bodies of the Legislative Assembly consist of its President, the Executive Board and the Administrative Council. The Secretariat subordinates to the Executive Board. When the term of office comes to an end or when the Legislative Assembly is dissolved, the Executive Board can exercise its powers until the first plenary session of the newly formed Legislative Assembly. The Secretariat which comprises of the personnel of the Legislative Assembly and is under the direct responsibility of the Secretary-General, subjects to the leadership of the President and Executive Board. The Secretariat offers technical and administrative aid to the Legislative Assembly, and is divided into various departments for tackling different matters.
Public feedback system
The public feedback system, created by the Legislative Assembly, aims at collecting opinions, suggestions or criticisms concerning legislation, Government activities or policies, and other issues of public interest, as well as explaining the work of the Legislative Assembly and offering assistance to citizens for exercising their rights to submit petitions and make complaints to the Legislative Assembly. Citizens can access to above-mentioned system in person or by telephone, post, fax or email, during the working hours of the Public Administration.
collecting opinions, suggestions or criticisms concerning legislation, Government activities or policies, and other issues of public interest, as well as explaining the work of the Legislative Assembly and offering assistance to citizens for exercising their rights to submit petitions and make complaints to the Legislative Assembly. Citizens can access to above-mentioned system in person or by telephone, post, fax or email, during the working hours of the Public Administration.
In addition, legislators receive citizens by appointment at the building of the Legislative Assembly, according to a roster compiled for each legislative session, between 12H00 and 13H00 on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.