Govt strives for fair elections

The Constitutional & Mainland Affairs Bureau is working closely with the Electoral Affairs Commission to ensure the three upcoming important elections are conducted in a fair, open and honest manner.   Secretary for Constitutional & Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang made the statement in response to questions from legislator Starry Lee in the Legislative Council today, noting that two new offences have been introduced under the law.   One of the offences is the corrupt conduct to wilfully obstruct or prevent another person from voting at an election. The other offence is the illegal conduct to incite another person not to vote, to cast a blank or invalid vote by way of public activity during an election period.   The Independent Commission Against Corruption will pay close attention to conduct that may constitute manipulation of or sabotaging the elections, and take resolute law enforcement action to combat such illegal activities, Mr Tsang warned.   Since March, the bureau has allocated more than $16 million on activities to publicise the advantages, the necessity and urgency of improving Hong Kong’s electoral system as well as how the improved electoral system fully implements "patriots administering Hong Kong" and enhances the effectiveness of governance.   Meanwhile, bureau secretaries and department heads have explained the improved electoral system to various sectors in the community through their political platforms, blogs and media interviews.   The Chief Executive hosted a Radio Television Hong Kong TV discussion programme with guests from the 40 Election Committee subsectors to provide an in-depth explanation to the public on improving the electoral system.   Mr Tsang also noted that various government departments will work closely to formulate an appropriate security plan to deal with possible risks that may occur during one of the key upcoming polls, the 2021 Legislative Council General Election to be held on December 19.   Based on the risk assessments, Police will implement appropriate measures and make manpower arrangements in each polling station and its vicinity to enable the poll to be conducted safely, he added.
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