Press statement by EAC on 2016 Legislative Council Election
A spokesman for the Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) today (July 14) made a statement on the 2016 Legislative Council Election, as follows:
The Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is constituted by election in accordance with the Basic Law and the relevant electoral legislation. The Legislative Council election is held according to the law under the conduct and supervision of the EAC, an independent statutory body constituted under the Electoral Affairs Commission Ordinance. In making the practical arrangement for the election, the EAC has always adhered to fair, open and honest principles, and acted in strict compliance with the law.
Under the Legislative Council Ordinance, eligible persons may run in the Legislative Council election. A candidate must submit during the nomination period a nomination form including a declaration stating that he/she will uphold the Basic Law and pledge allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, otherwise, he/she will not be validly nominated as a candidate. A candidate must sign the declaration in the nomination form as part of the statutory procedure for nomination.
Running for the election, signing the nomination form and making the above mentioned declaration are solemn acts. In making the declaration, candidates must clearly understand the relevant context and legal consequences. Anyone making a false declaration in the nomination form is liable to criminal sanction. Upon receiving the nomination form, the Returning Officer shall process the nomination according to the law and the procedure, and determine and announce whether the nomination is valid according to the law.
The EAC has always endeavoured to explain to candidates the electoral legislation, and to provide relevant guidelines. The EAC has noticed that recently there has been public opinion concerning whether the candidates do fully understand the Basic Law, and in particular Article 1, Article 12 and Article 159(4) (as extracted below) :
|Article 1||The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China.
|Article 12||The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be a local administrative region of the People’s Republic of China, which shall enjoy a high degree of autonomy and come directly under the Central People’s Government.
|Article 159(4)||No amendment to this Law shall contravene the established basic policies of the People’s Republic of China regarding Hong Kong.
The EAC has the duty to clearly point out to candidates the relevant Articles in the Basic Law referred to in the declaration on the nomination form, and also has the responsibility to assist the Returning Officers in the exercise of their statutory power to discharge their duties under the nomination procedure, and to ensure that all candidates fully understand the legal requirements and, on that basis, are bona fide in signing the declaration in the nomination form. When deciding whether or not a nomination is valid, the Returning Officer has the statutory power to request further information from candidates if he/she has any queries as to whether the candidate has complied fully with the nomination procedure under the law.
In the circumstances, the EAC has prepared a Confirmation Form for the use of the Returning Officers, in order that every candidate may confirm that in signing the relevant declaration in the nomination form, he/she has clearly understood the relevant Articles of the Basic Law mentioned above. The Confirmation Form can be downloaded from the dedicated website for the 2016 Legislative Council Election (www.elections.gov.hk). Starting from tomorrow, the form will be available for collection at District Offices, offices of the Returning Officers and the Registration and Electoral Office at 10/F, Harbour Centre, 25 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong and Room 2301-2303, 23/F, Millennium City 6, 392 Kwun Tong Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon.
The EAC reiterates that it will ensure that the election is conducted strictly in accordance with the law in the discharge of its duty to the public.
Ends/Thursday, July 14, 2016
Issued at HKT 17:13
Issued at HKT 17:13