Following is the transcript (English portion) of the remarks by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, to the media after visiting a 2010 Legislative Council By-election polling station set up at the Tang Shiu Kin Victoria Government Secondary School in Wan Chai this morning (May 16):
Today is the Legislative Council By-election polling day. On the part of the HKSAR Government we have made arrangements for this By-election in order to ensure that the people of Hong Kong will have a full cohort of 60 Legislative Councillors to serve them in the Council. The consistent position of the Hong Kong Government is that this round of resignations and the subsequent by-elections could have been avoided. The five former Members of the Legislative Council could have chosen to remain in the Council and deal with key issues such as the 2012 constitutional development package and other legislative proposals. However, as they have chosen to resign, the Electoral Affairs Commission, in accordance with relevant legislation, has organised this By-election.
Today, in accordance with previous practice, we have arranged for over 500 polling stations and have appointed over 14,000 polling staff in order to facilitate the convenient casting of vote by members of the community. Also, this time round, we have established over 20 dedicated polling stations in institutions of the Correctional Services Department and the police stations so that persons who are in prison and those who are held in remand can choose to cast their votes.
In terms of publicity, in the past weeks we have publicised the polling arrangements through the electronic media, the print media and through various forms of advertisements.
In the course of the day, members of the Electoral Affairs Commission, colleagues of my bureau and officials concerned will visit various polling stations to ensure that this round of elections will be held according to the law and that the electoral arrangements will be fair and open.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Sunday, May 16, 2010