CE poll nomination starts Feb 20

January 27, 2022

The Chief Executive Election will be held on March 27. The Electoral Affairs Commission announced today the nomination period for the election will run from February 20 to March 5.


It also issued the Guidelines on Election-related Activities in respect of the Chief Executive Election today.


Commission Chairman Barnabas Fung explained at a press conference this morning that despite the nomination period being five days later than stated on documents earlier submitted by the Government to the Legislative Council, it still met the legal requirements.


“According to Section 15 of the Chief Executive Election Ordinance, the nomination period is to be designated by the Chief Electoral Officer. The period shall not be less than 14 days and it must end 21 days before the polling day.


“The nomination period is not decided by the Electoral Affairs Commission, but the Electoral Affairs Commission has to see to it that it is in accordance with the law and I can assure you that the nomination period is now designated in accordance with the law.”


According to the newly amended electoral laws, the Chief Executive shall be elected by the Election Committee (EC) members by secret ballot on a one-person-one-vote basis.


A poll will be held irrespective of whether it is a contested or an uncontested election. The Chief Executive designate must obtain more than 750 valid votes in order to be returned in the election.


A candidate at the election shall be nominated by not less than 188 EC members, of which the number of members of each of the five EC sectors should not be less than 15.


Voting will run from 9am until 11am at the Convention & Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai.


An Electronic Poll Register system will be adopted for verifying electors' identity and issuing ballot papers, while the count will be conducted manually.


In a contested election, a candidate who obtains more than 750 valid votes is elected in the election.


In an election with three or more candidates but no candidate obtaining more than 750 valid votes in the first round of voting, the second round of voting will be conducted from 3pm until 4pm.


In principle, the two candidates obtaining the highest number of votes will compete in the second round of voting.


Due to the development of the COVID-19 epidemic, apart from complying with various epidemic preventive measures, the commission encouraged EC members to use the LeaveHomeSafe mobile application when entering the main polling station to cast their votes.


Mr Fung stressed that a person's voting rights will not be affected by whether they choose to use the app or not.


“We understand that the Government is extending the use of the LeaveHomeSafe app in various venues, such as dining places and (other places) like that. But I must emphasise that the voting right is a fundamental constitutional right. The electoral legislation stipulated that all registered electors are entitled to vote and there is no provision to stop a registered voter from voting.


“I can give you examples that (prove) in Hong Kong, even imprisoned persons have the right to vote.”


He added that using the app is voluntary and encouraged electors to make use of it for their own and the public’s safety.


The guidelines also specify that the maximum amount of election expenses that can be incurred by a candidate in the poll has been increased from $15.7 million to $17.6 million.


For an incumbent Chief Executive seeking re-election for a second term, the subsisting law does not require him/her to resign or take leave before standing for the election.


Mr Fung added that if the use for private purposes of any security, transportation, secretarial services and living quarters made available with public resources is unavoidably involved in election activities in certain circumstances because of the continued need in discharging duties as the Chief Executive, the candidate is required to apportion clearly the use of resources between the Chief Executive duties versus electioneering activities and to include the relevant items in election expenses and set out the items clearly in the election return.


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