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Legislative Council Election candidates briefed on electoral guidelines and legislation (with photo)

The following is issued on behalf of the Electoral Affairs Commission:

     The Chairman of the Electoral Affairs Commission, Mr Justice Barnabas Fung Wah, today (August 3) called on candidates of the 2012 Legislative Council Election to abide by electoral guidelines and relevant legislation and to co-operate with the Commission and the departments concerned to ensure the election will be conducted in a fair, open, honest and clean manner.

     At a briefing for candidates held this evening, Mr Justice Fung briefed candidates on the arrangements for polling and counting of votes in the election.

     "With the introduction of the District Council (second) functional constituency, the 'one-person-two-votes' arrangement will be implemented in the forthcoming Legislative Council Election," he said.

     "While over 3.2 million registered geographical constituency (GC) electors who do not belong to any of the 28 traditional functional constituencies (FCs) will continue to have one vote for their respective GC, they can also cast another vote for the newly created District Council (second) functional constituency to return five Legislative Council members to this FC whose candidates are elected District Councillors," he said.

     Noting that both the GCs and District Council (second) functional constituency adopt the list system of proportional representation, he emphasised that the voting method for the two ballot papers is exactly the same and electors can only choose one list of candidates on each ballot paper.

     "The back of the two ballot papers will be distinguished by patterns in different colours. The patterns on the back of the GC ballot paper will be blue while the back of the District Council (second) functional constituency ballot paper will be mainly white in colour, which correspond to the blue ballot box for GCs and the white ballot box for the District Council (second) functional constituency," he said.

     The ballot papers of the traditional FCs should be put into the red ballot box.

     "To ensure that electors understand the proper voting procedure, the Registration and Electoral Office (REO) will prepare a guide to the voting procedure which will be sent to every elector along with the poll card," he said.

     "Once the poll is closed, most polling stations will be converted into counting stations for counting GC votes. Ballot boxes of all FCs, including the District Council (second) functional constituency, will be delivered to the central counting station at the AsiaWorld-Expo where counting of votes will take place," Mr Justice Fung said.

     "It is expected that counting of the votes for GCs can only start after 11pm at the earliest, and depending on whether re-counts of votes are required, it may finish at around 6am the next day. As for the counting of votes at the central counting station, counting will begin after the ballot boxes delivered from the polling stations are received. Taking into account the extra need to count more than 1 million ballot papers for the new District Council (second) functional constituency at the central counting station, the whole counting process may be longer than in previous elections and is expected to finish at around noon at the earliest the next day."

     Mr Justice Fung also briefed the candidates on important points to note when conducting electioneering activities.

     On election advertisements sent by electronic means, Mr Justice Fung explained to candidates the requirements set out in the election-related legislation and electoral guidelines.

     "In view of the increasing use of electronic means for publication of election advertisements, the relevant legislation was amended to allow candidates to post an electronic copy of the election advertisements, relevant information, permission or consent onto an open platform maintained by the REO (i.e. the Central Platform) or an open platform maintained by the candidate himself (i.e. the Candidate's Platform) for public inspection within one working day after the publication of the election advertisements concerned," he said.

     He reminded the candidates that they can post a letter free of charge to each elector by August 18.

     "A candidate or a list of candidates that is validly nominated for a geographical constituency, the District Council (second) functional constituency and the Labour functional constituency may choose to send joint election mail to electors. This arrangement is environmentally friendly and allows candidates greater flexibility in their publicity activities," he said.

     In addition, the REO is introducing a new measure in this election to enable the candidates to send election mail on a "household" basis so that electors registered at the same address receive shared election mail.

     Mr Justice Fung encouraged candidates to use "household" address labels for posting their promotional mail to conserve the environment and save paper and other resources. He hoped that the electors would appreciate the arrangement and quickly pass around the election mail posted on a "household" basis for reading by electors residing at the same address.

     "In addition to reducing significantly the quantity of address labels and promotional mail, the arrangement reduces posting workload and allows candidates more flexibility in deploying their electoral resources," he said.

     To reduce consumption of paper, candidates can also email their election advertisements to electors who have provided the REO with their email addresses.

     After the briefing session, the Returning Officers determined by drawing lots the order and number on ballot papers of the candidate lists or the candidates for their respective geographical constituencies or functional constituencies and the allocation of designated spots for election advertisements.

     A total of 137 nomination forms were received for the Legislative Council Election. The number of nomination forms that were ruled valid is 127. 6 nominations were withdrawn and 4 nominations were ruled invalid. The names of validly nominated candidates, together with their candidate list numbers or the candidate numbers on the ballot papers, will be published in the Gazette.

     Information on the nominees and the election are available on the election website (

Ends/Friday, August 3, 2012
Issued at HKT 19:40


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