Statement by Electoral Affairs Commission
In response to media enquiries on the “withdrawal of candidature” by a candidate of the 2016 Legislative Council General Election, the Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) issued the following statement today (August 26):
According to the Electoral Affairs Commission Ordinance, the EAC has to ensure that the Legislative Council election is conducted in an open, honest and fair manner.
There are explicit and stringent provisions in the electoral laws of Hong Kong to regulate improper behaviour which may arise in elections. In accordance with the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance, any act to affect a person’s candidature by bribery, force, duress or deception is corrupt conduct. It is an offence if a person uses or threatens to use force or duress against another person to induce him to stand or not to stand as a candidate, or if that person has been nominated as a candidate, to withdraw his candidature. A person who engages in corrupt conduct is liable on conviction to a maximum fine of $500,000 and imprisonment up to seven years.
The Ordinance also stipulates that a person must not publish any materially false or misleading statement of fact about a particular candidate or particular candidates for the purpose of promoting or prejudicing the election of the candidate or candidates. Similarly, a candidate must not publish any materially false or misleading statement of fact about himself/herself or another candidate or other candidates for the purpose of promoting the election of himself/herself or prejudicing the election of another candidate or other candidates. Any such publication will amount to illegal conduct and be subject to a maximum fine of $200,000 and imprisonment of up to three years on conviction.
Hong Kong has all along had a very good election culture. The EAC will absolutely not tolerate any deception, threats or violence in the election. People who encounter any of the aforementioned situations in the election should report them to the law enforcement agency immediately. If any such complaints are received, the EAC will deal with them in a strict manner and refer them to the law enforcement agency for follow-up action.
Ends/Friday, August 26, 2016
Issued at HKT 18:52
Issued at HKT 18:52