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SCMA speaks on forthcoming District Council Election

     Following is the transcript of remarks (English portion) made by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Raymond Tam, at a media session after attending the Joint Business Community Luncheon 2011 this afternoon (November 2):

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: I would like to mention three points here. The first is that in the coming year, we will have a series of important elections, the first of which will be the District Council Election this Sunday. As Secretary, I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to all electors to exercise their right to vote this Sunday and to elect their representatives in the District Councils.

     The second point that I would like to make is that I have noticed that in certain constituencies, competition is very keen. I expect that there will be very keen competition. Therefore I would like to take this occasion to reiterate the need for all, including the candidates, their supporting teams as well as the voters, when they exercise their rights to vote and when they canvass for votes, to do it peacefully, orderly and in accordance with the law and in accordance with the principle of mutual respect.

     The third point I would like to make is about the Chief Executive (CE) Election to be conducted next year. I understand that the media and the general community have raised some concerns in this respect. I would like to take this occasion to reiterate that there is a set of electoral laws and regulations, as well as election guidelines in place that guide and regulate this kind of activity. All aspiring persons should get familiar with this set of rules and laws. If there are any areas that are unclear to them, they should seek legal advice. Also they should do all things carefully and cautiously so that what they are going to do or what they are doing will be in full accordance with the requirements of the law.

Reporter: Has the Government received any complaints about the CE election issue? Illegal issue?

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: No, as far as I am aware. I haven't checked with the Electoral Affairs Commission yet. But I believe that up to today, we have received no formal complaint as yet. But what I have gathered, from my own observation is that in the community and in the media, there have been some concerns about whether a particular person is regarded as a candidate, whether election expenses should therefore begin to count, etc. My general advice is that they should get themselves familiar with all the rules and guidelines, and they should follow suit. And if there are any unclear areas, they should better seek legal advice in this regard so that they would be in full conformity with the requirement under the law.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Wednesday, November 2, 2011