Public consultation on District Council Election proposed guidelines commences today (with photos)

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

     The Electoral Affairs Commission today (May 5) released the proposed guidelines on election-related activities in respect of the District Council Election for public consultation.

     "The proposed guidelines aim to provide a code of conduct based on the principle of fairness and equality for conducting election-related activities. They also give guidance in layman's language on compliance with the relevant electoral legislation," the Commission Chairman, Mr Justice Barnabas Fung Wah, said at a press conference.

     "The consultation will last for 30 days, starting from today until June 3. Members of the public are invited to express their views," Mr Justice Fung said.

     Members of the public can also express their views at a public forum to be held from 7pm to 9pm on May 19 at Quarry Bay Community Hall, 1 Greig Road, Quarry Bay.

     The 2015 District Council Ordinary Election will be held on November 22.

     "Before each District Council Ordinary Election, the Commission will revise the electoral guidelines to improve electoral arrangements," Mr Justice Fung said.

     "The proposed guidelines are prepared on the basis of the existing guidelines for the District Council Election, with suitable alterations to reflect the latest amendments made to the relevant electoral legislation.

     "They include updating the total number of District Council constituencies; revising some technical details concerning voter registration arrangements and electoral procedures; and elaborating on certain parts of the guidelines and aligning them with the other electoral guidelines," he said.

     In the proposed guidelines, some key dates of the voter registration timeframe are updated. They also set out clearly the checking measures for the registration cycle, and stress that it is an offence to knowingly or recklessly give false or misleading information for voter registration.

     Regarding the collection of personal data, on the suggestion of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, candidates who wish to use personal data for electioneering purposes are reminded to state clearly the intended use of the data at the time of collection.

     The proposed guidelines reiterate the importance for media organisations to comply with the long-established principle of the "fair and equal treatment" in handling election-related programmes. Media organisations are also reminded to ensure that no candidate is given unfair publicity. Otherwise, they might violate the statutory requirements on election advertisements and election expenses, and, as a result, be subject to criminal liability.  

     The proposed guidelines remind persons who seek election donations for candidates to comply with all the relevant legislative requirements in soliciting election donations. If candidates solicit donations for other organisations, they must make sure that clear information is provided so that members of the public are adequately advised of the identity of the recipients and the purpose of the donation and would not be misled.

     To ensure fairness of election, the administrative procedures in approving applications for the conduct of exit polls are updated. Clearer guidelines are also provided on the use of office titles by supporters when giving consent of support to candidates to avoid dispute or misleading the public.

     Written representations can be submitted to the Commission's Secretariat by post at 10/F, Harbour Centre, 25 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, by fax (2511 1682) or by email ( by June 3. Late submissions will not be considered.

     The proposed guidelines can be downloaded from the Commission website ( They are also available at the Registration and Electoral Office and the Public Enquiry Service Centres of District Offices.

     For enquiries, please call 2891 1001.

Ends/Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Issued at HKT 18:03