|Consultation Paper on Disqualification of Candidates with Unserved Prison Sentences and other Related Matters published
The Government published today (July 21) the Consultation Paper on Disqualification of Candidates with Unserved Prison Sentences and other Related Matters to obtain public views.
A Government spokesman said, "A Court of First Instance's judgment in June 2012 found that section 39(1)(b) of the Legislative Council Ordinance (Cap. 542) was inconsistent with Articles 26 and 39 of the Basic Law as well as Article 21 of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights. In response to that judgment, the Government undertook to conduct a review on the qualification of persons with unserved prison sentences as candidates for Legislative Council (LegCo) elections, consult the public on this matter and other related issues at an appropriate juncture, and propose changes to the relevant electoral legislation accordingly if necessary."
The Government has conducted the review, and sets out its considerations and recommendations in the Consultation Paper.
"The Government's preliminary proposal is to allow an appellant who is released on bail pending appeal, regardless of the court of conviction or appeal, to be nominated as a candidate at a LegCo election and be elected as a LegCo Member until disposal of the appeal, so long as he or she remains on bail and is not otherwise caught by other restrictions under section 39 of the Legislative Council Ordinance. On the other hand, an escaped convict (regardless of whether he or she is waiting for the determination of an appeal) is proposed to be disqualified from being nominated as a candidate at a LegCo election and from being elected as a LegCo Member," the spokesman said.
"The Government also considers it necessary to take the opportunity to clarify the qualification of certain categories of persons. Besides, the Government proposes making corresponding changes to relevant provisions in the District Councils Ordinance (Cap. 547) and the Rural Representative Election Ordinance (Cap. 576) on disqualifying persons from being nominated as a candidate and from being elected," the spokesman added.
The Government will decide the next step in the light of the views received.
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 can be sent by mail, facsimile or email on or before September 30, 2014. Details are as follows:
Address: Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau
Fax number: 2840 1976
E-mail address: email@example.com
Ends/Monday, July 21, 2014