Electoral amendments gazetted

October 18, 2019

Two amendment regulations to amend the subsidiary legislation under the Electoral Affairs Commission Ordinance were gazetted today to refine the personal data disclosure requirements in Legislative Council and District Council elections.


The two regulations to be amended are the Electoral Affairs Commission (Electoral Procedure) (Legislative Council) Regulation and the Electoral Affairs Commission (Electoral Procedure) (District Councils) Regulation.


According to the existing legislation, for LegCo and District Council elections, the notice of valid nominations and other specified notices to be published by Returning Officers in the gazette must state the principal residential address of each validly nominated candidate.


To protect candidates’ privacy, the amendment regulations replace the requirement of disclosing the principal residential address with address in such notices.


After the amendment, candidates may choose to disclose an address that they prefer, be it their office/business, correspondence or residential address, or post office box number.


The Electoral Affairs Commission said this could strike a balance between the need for the media and public to contact candidates, while protecting candidates’ privacy.

In addition, the current legislation also stipulates that a ballot paper, if the commission so determines, is to contain the candidate’s address as shown on the notice of nominations.


The commission proposed to amend the relevant legislation to remove such provisions.

The two amendment regulations will be tabled at LegCo on October 23 for negative vetting.


The amendment regulation for District Council polls takes effect today, so that the notice of valid nominations in the 2019 District Council Ordinary Election to be published by the Returning Officers in the gazette on October 30 will state only the address chosen by each validly nominated candidate.


The amendment regulation relating to LegCo elections is proposed to commence on January 1, 2020.

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