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Executive-Legislative Relationships and the Development of Public Policy
Eilo Yu Wing-yat
Source PublicationGaming, Governance and Public Policy in Macao
Author of SourceNewman M. K. Lam and Ian Scott
Publication PlaceHong Kong
PublisherHong Kong University Press

The political system of the Macao Special Administrative Region retains the colonial practice of executive domination over other governmental institutions. This role is formally recognised in the Basic Law, which concentrates administrative and legislative power in the hands of the Chief Executive, and reflects the assumption of its drafters that the government will be 'executive-led' (Luo, 2005:883). As the head of the Special Administrative Region, the Chief Executive has, among many other powers, wide-ranging and largely unconstrained authority to decide government policies, to issue administrative regulations, to nominate Principal Officials, to appoint and remove judges and some members of the Legislative Assembly, to approve motions on revenue and expenditure, to return bills to the Legislative Assembly for further consideration, to order officials to testify or to give evidence before the Legislative Assembly, to confer medals and honours, to pardon persons convicted of criminal offences, and to handle petitions and complaints (Basic Law: Article 50). Although the legislature has the responsibility for passing bills, the Chief Executive remains dominant in the law-making process because almost all bills are proposed by the administration and because legislators are restricted by the conditions under which they can introduce private members' bills. If it so wished, the Macao government could use its powers to govern with only minimal involvement of the legislature. The Chief Executive could employ his considerable powers to make law by decree and to appoint legislators, thereby reducing the legislature to little more than a rubber stamp. Constitutionally, the Legislative Assembly is a 'minimal legislature' (Olson and Mezey, 1991:1-2; also see Mezey, 1985) that has little influence on the government and plays only a nominal role in policymaking. It has very limited powers to hold the executive branch accountable and its members are marginal players in the decision-making process. © 2011 by The Hong Kong University Press, HKU. All rights reserved.

KeywordMacao Politics Public Policy Legislature Executive-legislative Relations
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Document TypeBook chapter
CollectionFaculty of Social Sciences
AffiliationUniversity of Macau
First Author AffilicationUniversity of Macau
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GB/T 7714
Eilo Yu Wing-yat. Executive-Legislative Relationships and the Development of Public Policy. Hong Kong:Hong Kong University Press,2011:57-74.
APA Eilo Yu Wing-yat.(2011).Executive-Legislative Relationships and the Development of Public Policy.Gaming, Governance and Public Policy in Macao,57-74.
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