Rigging claims cloud elections
THE Hong Kong Society of Accountants (HKSA) has elected Brian Stevenson as president in elections soured by allegations of voting rigging and calls for an ethnic Chinese president.
Mr Stevenson, vice-president last year, was unanimously endorsed by the 12 council members after the annual general meeting last night.
He also won the largest number of ballots when he stood for re-election on Wednesday.
Tim Lui and Doug Oxley were elected as vice presidents of the society.
New council members were elected on Wednesday, with six members stepping down after two-year-service in the council. Five of them were re-elected to the council for 1996.
Patrick Yeung was re-elected with the lowest number of ballots among the six council members.
His election bid was clouded by allegations of a campaign against him for allegedly backing City Polytechnics in starting an evening course in direct competition to one offered by Hong Kong Polytechnics University.
Claims of a dirty-tricks campaign were made in an anonymous letter sent to former president Nicholas Etches on the eve of the election.
The HKSA said it would take no further action on the matter as the letter was anonymous, and was addressed to Mr Etches, not the society.
'The letter was sent to a third party and it has nothing to do with us,' Mr Stevenson said.
The head of the accounting department of the Polytechnics University, Joseph Cheung, said 12 staff had met on December 12 - the day after the letter was received - to discuss the issue.
The 12 staff, among the 20 eligible voting members in the department, signed a letter denying any campaign against Mr Yeung.
The letter stated: 'There was no effort to coerce or to threaten us in voting for or against particular candidates . . . Actually, we all followed the guidelines of the HKSA to send in our ballot vote in a sealed envelope posted directly and individually to the HKSA.' Mr Cheung emphasised that the department believed the accusations in the letter were false .
Mr Yeung, said he believed the allegations had affected the number of ballots he obtained. He said he has written to the president of Hong Kong Polytechnics University explaining that his ties with City Polytechnic had ceased in 1993.
Other members elected were Nicholas Etches, Kam Pok-man, Tim Lui and Brian Stevenson.
A new candidate, Andy Lee Shiu-chuen, was elected, while Dudley Harding has retired from the council.
Outlining plans for the coming year, Mr Stevenson said the HKSA would continue its policy of 1995, strengthening ties with its counterpart in China. It would also strengthen communications with the business community in Hong Kong seeking more feedbacks about new accounting standards, he said.