The following is issued on behalf of the Electoral Affairs Commission:
The counting of ballot papers for the nine contested subsectors in the Election Committee by-elections took 4 hours 35 minutes to complete at 4.05am today (May 2).
Speaking to the media at the Central Counting Station, the Chairman of the Electoral Affairs Commission, Mr Justice Woo Kwok-hing, said the time taken to complete the counting of more than 7,000 ballot papers was as expected.
He attributed the smooth process to the swift and efficient handling of questionable ballots, the well-organised delivery of ballot boxes from the 39 polling stations across the territory to the Central Counting Station and rigorous training of counting staff.
The first counting result came out at 2.05am. The count in the Accountancy subsector took slightly longer due to its large electorate.
The Commission will review the electoral arrangements thoroughly with a view to further improving them.
On behalf of the Commission, Mr Justice Woo thanked the more than 700 polling and counting staff, and all those Government departments involved in the by-elections, in particular the Registration and Electoral Office, for doing their best to serve voters and candidates as well as to keep the electoral arrangements as smooth as possible. He also thanked voters and candidates for their cooperation with working staff and support to the by-elections.
The by-elections were held to fill the 27 vacancies in 16 subsectors of the Election Committee, which will elect a new Chief Executive on July 10. Polls are not required in seven out of 16 subsectors because their by-elections are not contested. Six more vacancies in the Religious Subsector of the Election Committee have been filled by supplementary nominations.
Mr Justice Woo said the Final Register of the Election Committee would be published in a few days.
Ends/Monday, May 2, 2005