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|Public consultation launched on review of electoral arrangements
The Government published today (November 13) the Consultation Paper on Review of Electoral Arrangements to obtain public views.
A Government spokesman said, "The various public elections in the 2015-2017 election cycle were successfully conducted. In view of the recommendations made by the Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) in its reports submitted to the Chief Executive after the elections, and views provided by the Legislative Council (LegCo) Panel on Constitutional Affairs and the community, the Government is now conducting a review on various electoral arrangements in preparation for the next election cycle."
The Government consulted the LegCo Panel on Constitutional Affairs in December last year and in June and July this year in respect of a series of issues on electoral arrangements, including the three issues raised in this Consultation Paper, the design of ballot papers and the operation of polling and counting stations of District Council (DC) and LegCo elections. The EAC also made five amendment regulations in June this year to implement its recommendation to require electors to produce the original of his or her Hong Kong permanent identity card for issuing ballot papers. For other recommendations on operational arrangements (such as those relating to voter registration for the DC (second) functional constituency and long queues at some polling stations), the Registration and Electoral Office has already taken or is examining follow-up actions.
This consultation mainly seeks to invite views from the public on three issues related to electoral arrangements, i.e. the regulation of election advertisements published through the Internet (including social media) and the regulation of election surveys, as well as the polling hours. Views and comments received will be taken into account when the Government conducts relevant reviews.
"In respect of the regulation of election advertisements published through the Internet (including social media), the Government proposes to introduce a targeted exemption to protect a third party (i.e. individuals or groups that are neither the relevant candidates whose elections are being promoted or prejudiced nor their election expense agents) as a web surfer merely expressing his or her views from inadvertently breaching electoral laws. As for the regulation of election surveys and polling hours, given that views on such topics are diverse in the community, we welcome views from the public on the issues covered in the Consultation Paper," the spokesman said.
"In addition to these three issues, we also welcome concrete views on other election-related issues, if any," the spokesman added.
The Government will decide the next step in the light of the views received.
The Consultation Paper is available at the Home Affairs Enquiry Centres of District Offices or the website of the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau (www.cmab.gov.hk). Views can be sent by mail, facsimile or email on or before December 29, 2017. Details are as follows:
Address: Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau
12/F, East Wing
Central Government Offices
2 Tim Mei Avenue
Tamar, Hong Kong
Fax number: 2840 1976
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ends/Monday, November 13, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:30