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Proposed guidelines for Legislative Council Election released for public consultation (with photos)

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

     The Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) today (March 3) released for public consultation the proposed guidelines on election-related activities in respect of the Legislative Council (LegCo) Election.

     Speaking at a press conference today, the EAC Chairman, Mr Justice Barnabas Fung Wah, said, "Before each LegCo General Election, the EAC will revise the electoral guidelines. A new set of the proposed guidelines has been drawn up by the EAC for the LegCo General Election to be held in September this year and all LegCo by-elections to be held afterwards. The guidelines are now for public consultation for 30 days until April 1.

     "The proposed guidelines have been prepared on the basis of the existing guidelines for the LegCo Election with suitable alterations to reflect some past amendments made to the relevant electoral legislation and proposed amendments under scrutiny by LegCo. Changes also include elaboration of certain parts, with most of the amendments seeking to align the content with the other electoral guidelines.

     "The 2016 LegCo General Election will be held on September 4. Seventy LegCo members will be returned from five geographical constituencies and 29 functional constituencies."

     To reflect the latest legislative amendments, the proposed guidelines update the number of seats in the geographical constituencies, the maximum amount of election expenses and the subsidy rate of financial assistance for candidates or lists of candidates.

     The deadlines for submitting election returns for all candidates in the same election will also be aligned. They will be implemented after the passage of the relevant legislative proposals in LegCo.

     In respect of voter registration, the key dates of the voter registration timeframe are updated. In addition, the deadline for change of registration particulars will be aligned with the deadline for new registration, and surface mail, instead of registered post, would be used for sending all enquiries and notifications to electors to reflect the latest legislative proposals. These proposals will be implemented when the relevant amendment regulations take effect later.

     The proposed guidelines also set out clearly the checking measures to ensure the accuracy of the electors' particulars in the registers and state that it is an offence to knowingly or recklessly give false or misleading information for voter registration.

     Regarding the publication of election advertisements, the proposed guidelines particularly remind any person or organisation that publishing materials to appeal directly or indirectly to electors to vote or not to vote for certain candidates or candidates of certain organisations to observe the legislative requirements for incurring election expenses on the behalf of candidates since the materials may be capable of being understood as referring to certain identified candidates and regarded as election advertisements.

     The proposed guidelines also remind media organisations to observe the established principle of giving "fair and equal treatment" to candidates. They are also reminded that under no circumstances should they give unfair publicity to candidates. Otherwise, there is a possibility of breaching the statutory provisions in relation to election advertisements and election expenses.

     To ensure fairness in the election, the office bearers of building organisations are reminded not to abuse their positions in the organisations to give unfair treatment to any candidate in the conduct of electioneering or canvassing activities in the buildings concerned, especially when the office bearers themselves are candidates in the election.

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

     Written representations can be sent to the Commission's Secretariat by post to 10/F, Harbour Centre, 25 Harbour Road, Wan Chai; by fax to 2511 1682; or by email to before the deadline. Late submissions will not be considered.

     A public forum will be held from 7pm to 9pm on March 17 at Quarry Bay Community Hall, 1 Greig Road, Quarry Bay. Members of the public are invited to attend to express their views.

     For enquiries, please call 2891 1001.

Ends/Thursday, March 3, 2016
Issued at HKT 17:45


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