Macau 're-elects' new leader as authorities stifle democratic rumblings

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By Farah Master HONG KONG (Reuters) - Macau, the world's largest gambling hub, re-elected its leader and sole candidate Fernando Chui on Sunday, a widely expected result after the pro-China government stifled an unofficial referendum on democracy. Chui was returned to office by a select panel of 400 largely pro-China loyalists in the tiny but wealthy former Portuguese colony. Macau's leaders have taken a much harder line than in neighboring in Hong Kong, where pro-democracy activists have been struggling for universal suffrage. The election in Macau coincides with a meeting of China's parliament that is expected to limit 2017 elections for Hong Kong's leader to a handful of candidates, a move likely to escalate plans by pro-democracy activists to blockade the city's Central business district.