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CS: Community support essential to election success

The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Donald Tsang, said today (July 17) that the participation and support of the community was essential to a successful election.

Speaking at the 2004 Legislative Council (LegCo) Election publicity campaign at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Mr Tsang called on eligible persons who wished to serve the community to stand for election and registered electors to vote at the LegCo Election on September 12.

Also attending the ceremony were the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam; the Secretary for Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho; and the Chairman of Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC), Mr Justice Woo Kwok-hing.

Mr Tsang stressed that as always, the EAC, the Independent Commission Against Corruption and other government departments concerned would closely monitor the whole LegCo election process so as to ensure that the election would be conducted fairly, openly and honestly.

Dr Ho reminded registered voters to cast their votes so as to elect somebody whom they could identify with.

Mr Lam introduced the new design of the ballot papers, which would be printed in colour.

To facilitate identification of candidates by electors when casting their votes, the ballot papers would carry the particulars of the candidates, he said.

These particulars would include personal photographs of candidates; emblems of candidates and their supporting bodies; and names or abbreviated names of candidates' supporting bodies.

He said that candidates could also choose to indicate whether he or she was an "independent candidate" or a "non-affiliated candidate" on the ballot paper.

Mr Justice Woo reminded voters of some points to note for the election.

He said that polling staff at the polling stations would remind electors not to use mobile telephones, and not to use cameras to take photos inside the polling stations.

If electors forgot to turn off their mobile phones and the phones started to ring, he advised them to turn them off immediately because talking on the telephone inside a polling station was an offence, which was liable upon conviction to a maximum penalty of a fine of 5,000 and imprisonment of three months.

Taking photographs inside a polling station was also an offence, which was liable upon conviction to a maximum penalty of a fine of 5,000 and imprisonment of six months, Mr Justice Woo said.

Other guests attending the ceremony included members of Electoral Affairs Commission, Mr Norman Leung and Dr Elizabeth Shing; the Honourable Ng Leung-sing; the Honourable Yeung Sum; the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Ms Shelley Lee; the Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Pamela Tan; the Director of Information Services, Ms Yvonne Choi; and the Director of Broadcasting, Mr Chu Pui-hing.

Also participating in the ceremony were the election ambassadors including popular singers, artistes and outstanding athletes, who joined the officiating guests to call on eligible persons to run for election and registered voters to cast their votes.

One of the ceremony's highlights was the joint effort of a group of 130 students who used flip boards to form the election logo symbolising that all the electors were dedicated to participate in the September election in order to build a better future.

The ceremony was followed by a mini-concert featuring popular singers to help drive home the election publicity messages.

Ends/Saturday, July 17, 2004