Macau voters have elected a young pro-democracy activist to the Chinese casino capital’s legislature, as opposition lawmakers expanded their presence at the expense of candidates linked to the gambling industry. The results released early Monday are a surprising sign of faith in young people with progressive ideas among Macau’s notoriously apathetic electorate. Official results showed that 26-year-old Sulu Sou won a seat in Sunday’s election for the city’s semi-democratic legislature, making him the city’s youngest-ever lawmaker, according to local news reports.
Sou’s party, the New Macau Association, favors full democracy for the 33-seat legislature, where only 14 seats are directly elected and the rest are filled by pro-establishment labor unions and special interest groups or appointed by the city’s Beijing-backed top leader. The party also aims to reinvigorate interest in politics among the former Portuguese colony’s younger generation.
Sou, who could not be reached for comment, joined three incumbent pro-democracy candidates who won re-election. Another surprise winner was newcomer Agnes Lam, a university professor seen as a centrist. There were few other changes to the rest of the directly elected seats, which remain dominated by pro-Beijing representatives.