The Government issued today (December 6) the Consultation Paper on Review of Regulation on Election Advertisements (EAs) to collect views from the public.
To assist candidates in conducting electioneering activities, particularly in new media, and simplify the procedures for handling EAs while maintaining the integrity, fairness and openness of elections, the Government is now conducting a review on the regulatory regime of EAs. To collect views from the public on this issue, the consultation paper sets out the existing regulatory regime on EAs and the revised arrangements proposed by the Government.
The proposals simplify the existing arrangements for handling EAs, including:
(a) a candidate can post his EAs onto an election website maintained by him or a central portal maintained by the Registration and Electoral Office for public inspection instead of making declaration and submission of EAs to the Returning Officer (RO); and
(b) the revised arrangements allow a candidate to post EAs onto his election website or the central portal within one working day after the publication of the EAs. This replaces the existing arrangements which require a candidate to make declaration and submission of EAs to the RO before publishing the EAs.
In addition, the proposals amend the arrangements for handling the consent of support in EAs. Under the proposals, a candidate or a person is not required to obtain prior written consent from those who provide support in the EAs published by him if such support is provided by the supporters themselves out of their own volition.
This proposed arrangement seeks to protect a candidate or person from being inadvertently caught under section 27 of the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance in circumstances under which it is difficult for him to obtain prior written consent from third parties indicating support out of their own volition.
In preparing the consultation paper, the Government has considered the views expressed by members of the Legislative Council (LegCo) when the LegCo Panel on Constitutional Affairs discussed the matter at a meeting on November 21, 2011.
The consultation paper is available at the Public Enquiry Service Centres of District Offices or the website of the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau (www.cmab.gov.hk). Views on the consultation document can be sent to the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau by mail, facsimile or email on or before December 31, 2011, details as follows:
Address: Team 3
Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau
Central Government Offices
12/F, East Wing
2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar
Fax number: 2840 1976
e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ends/Tuesday, December 6, 2011