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Electoral Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2014 gazetted today

     The Electoral Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2014 (the Bill) was published in the Gazette today (April 11). The Bill amends several pieces of electoral legislation to improve voter registration arrangements and electoral procedures for the Legislative Council (LegCo), District Councils and Rural Representative elections.

     "In order to improve the clarity of relevant provisions as well as refine the procedural requirements in the electoral laws in the light of the experience gained from previous elections, the Bill introduces some technical amendments to the electoral laws," a Government spokesman said.

     In addition, the Bill proposes to advance the statutory deadline for voter registration application by 14 calendar days, in order to provide 10 more days for the public to inspect the provisional registers and the omissions lists and to make claims and objections; and to provide the Revising Officer with four more days to handle hearings of claims and objections.

     The Bill also proposes to make the existing offences on making false or incorrect statement concerning voter registration to become indictable offences instead of summary offences, in order to remove the six-month time bar for prosecution, to enhance enforcement effectiveness and the deterrent effect.

     "We plan to introduce the Bill into the LegCo for first and second readings on April 16, 2014. We hope that the LegCo can pass the Bill as soon as possible so that the amendments to enhance voter registration and electoral procedures can take effect as early as possible," the spokesman said.

     The Bill and details of the proposals have been made available at the LegCo webpage.

Ends/Friday, April 11, 2014