Browse the listing below to find government information for Macau, including flags, leaders,
and constitution information. Factrover also has complete information on Macau at its
Macau Country Page.
Type: Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China since December 20, 1999 with its own mini-constitution (the Basic Law).
Branches: Executive--President of the People's Republic of China (head of state), Chief executive (head of government), Executive Council (cabinet). Legislative--Legislative Council. Judicial--Independent judicial system with a high court (the Court of Final Appeal).
Government of Macau
The chief executive is appointed by China's central government after selection by an election committee, whose members are nominated by corporate bodies. The chief executive appears before a cabinet, the Executive Council, of between 7 and 11 members. The term of office of the chief executive is 5 years, and no individual may serve for more than two consecutive terms. The governor has strong policymaking and executive powers similar to those of a president. These powers are, however, limited from above by the central government in Beijing, to whom the governor reports directly, and from below (to a more limited extent) by the legislature. Edmund Ho, a community leader and banker, is the first China-appointed chief executive of the Macau SAR, having replaced General de Rocha Viera on December 20, 1999. Ho's first term expires in December 2004.
The legislative organ of the territory is the legislative Assembly, a 27-member body comprising of ten directly elected members, ten appointed members representing functional constituencies, and seven members appointed by the chief executive. The Legislative Assembly is responsible for general lawmaking, including taxation, the passing of the budget and socioeconomic legislation. In the last election, held in September 2001, pro-Entertainment industry groups won 3 of the ten directly elected seats, pro-democracy groups won two seats, while pro-China parties won four; pro-business groups took the remaining seat. The next election will be held in 2005. The city of Macau and the islands of Taipa and Coloane each have a municipal council.
The legal system is based largely on Portuguese law. The territory has its own independent judicial system, with a high court. Judges are selected by a committee and appointed by the chief executive. Foreign judges may serve on the courts. In July 1999 the chief executive appointed a seven-person committee to select judges for the SAR. Twenty-four judges were recommended by the committee and were then appointed by Mr. Ho. Macau has three courts: the Court of the First Instance, the Court of the Second Instance, and the Court of Final Appeal, Macau's highest court. Sam Hou Fai is the President (Chief Justice) of the Court of Final Appeal.