BEIJING, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, on Saturday adopted an interpretation on two articles of the Basic Law of Macao concerning election issues.
The Basic Law of the Macao Special Administrative Region (Macao SAR) was adopted in 1993 and went into effect on Dec. 20, 1999.
The interpretation covers Annex I to the Basic Law, which provides a method for selecting the Macao SAR's chief executives, and Annex II, which sets the method for the formation of its legislative assembly.
Clause 7 of Annex I to the Basic Law says that if there is a need to amend the method for selecting the chief executives for 2009, and the terms subsequent to the year 2009, such amendments must be made with the endorsement of a two-thirds majority of all the members of the Legislative Assembly and the consent of the chief executive, and they shall be reported to the Standing Committee of the NPC for approval.
Clause 3 of Annex II says that if there is a need to amend the method of forming the Legislative Assembly of the Macao SAR in and after 2009, such amendments must be made with the endorsement of a two-thirds majority of all the members of the assembly and the consent of the chief executive, and they shall be reported to the Standing Committee of the NPC for the record.
The phrase "if there is a need to amend ..." in the two clauses should be construed to mean that they may be amended or remain unchanged, said the interpretation published by the NPC Standing Committee on Saturday.
Moreover, the procedures stipulated in the clauses should be regarded as prerequisites to validate such amendments. That is to say, relevant amendments could only go into effect after completing these procedures, including due reporting to the NPC Standing Committee for approval or record, the interpretation said.
Furthermore, the interpretation stated that the necessity of such amendments should be decided by the NPC Standing Committee upon proposal from the Macao SAR's chief executive.
If no amendment is made to the methods, the provisions in the two annexes will continue to hold true, the document said.
The development of Macao's political system should be made within the framework of the Macao SAR's Basic Law and in a manner that helps to maintain the SAR's long-term stability, Li Fei, deputy director of the Commission for Legislative Affairs of the NPC Standing Committee, said at a press conference.
Since Macao returned to China, remarkable progresses have been made in the SAR. Facts show that the political system in Macao suits the SAR's situation well and that efforts to maintain and improve the system will ensure the long-term prosperity and stability of Macao SAR, Li said.
Macao SAR expects the formation of its new Legislative Assembly in 2013, and the selection for the next term of its chief executive in 2014.