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Expenses limit raised for Chief Executive election

     The Administration will today (April 12) submit a paper to the Legislative Council (LegCo) Constitutional Affairs Panel which includes a proposal to increase the election expenses limit for the Chief Executive (CE) election in March 2012 from $9.5 million to $13 million.

     "In addition to the inflation adjustment of 12.8% since the limit was originally set in 2001, the proposed adjustment has taken into account the impact on the mode of canvassing as a result of the expansion of the Election Committee (EC) from 800 to 1 200 members as well as the revised voting system for the CE election," the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam said.

     "It is envisaged that the CE candidates will need to spend more on manpower and resources to organise more publicity and canvassing activities, both at the district level and territory-wide, to explain their electoral platform effectively," Mr Lam added.

     The Chief Executive Election (Amendment) Ordinance 2011 passed by the LegCo in early March has amended the CE election voting system, meaning that a candidate shall only be elected if the person obtains more than 600 valid votes, instead of half of the total number of valid votes cast.

     "Under the revised voting system, it is expected that the candidates will have to enhance their canvassing activities to solicit more EC members to vote and support their candidacy," said Mr Lam.

     The existing election expenses limit for the CE election is stipulated in the Maximum Amount of Election (Chief Executive Election) Regulation. The limit of $9.5 million was set back in 2001 and has not been adjusted since.

     The Administration has also reviewed the election expenses limits for the EC Subsector elections in December 2011. Since there have been no substantial changes to the subsector electorates and the average spending level in the last EC Subsector elections in 2006 was relatively low, the Administration proposes to maintain the existing election expenses limits.

     The existing election expenses limits for the EC Subsector elections are stipulated in the Maximum Scale of Election Expenses (Election Committee) Order. The limits range from $100,000 to $480,000 depending on the size of the subsector electorate.

Ends/Tuesday, April 12, 2011

SCMA speaks on proposal to increase CE election expenses limit