Canvassing hit by no-go areas

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 September, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 18 September, 1995, 12:00am

MANY candidates were hard pressed to avoid breaking the rules forbidding the soliciting of votes in the enlarged no-canvassing area outside polling stations.

To minimise the possibility of the scuffles which marred the municipal council polls in March, the no-canvassing area outside each polling station was extended to as much as four or five streets.

Talking and shaking hands with voters or even shouting slogans that could be heard inside the forbidden zone were prohibited.

Elizabeth Wong Chien Chi-lien, running in the Community, Social and Personal Services functional constituency, was forced to appear rude - and decline to shake a supporter's hand - rather than be caught canvassing inside the zone.

'This is very unnatural for me. My upbringing taught me to greet people politely,' Mrs Wong said.

Pro-China candidate Chan Yuen-han from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB) dodged traffic to make sure her hand was outside the forbidden zone.

When canvassing at Tung Tau Estate in Kowloon Northeast, Ms Chan had to risk life and limb and stand in the road and outside the barricades to shake hands with voters.

Candidates' aides also had to be reminded about the no-canvassing area.

When the DAB's Cheng Kai-nam took a leisurely walk inside the zone without his sash, one of his volunteers had to be stopped from trying to shake Mr Cheng's hand.