Civic Party says ballot boxes lacked information
The Civic Party yesterday criticised the constitutional affairs chief for going back on his word to provide information on Election Committee candidates inside ballot booths.
Party legislator Ronny Tong Ka-wah said it was a deliberate attempt to suppress the election of the committee that will choose the next chief executive. But Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Stephen Lam Sui-lung said the government had never promised to print candidates' pictures and emblems on ballot papers.
The Electoral Affairs Commission received 46 complaints, mostly about polling-station arrangements and advertisements. Other complaints were related to canvassing inside restricted zones, the use of loud hailers, questions over voting eligibility and the allocation of polling stations.
Commission chairman Pang Kin-kee said last night he was happy with the day's events, saying the poll had been open, fair and honest.
Although some information was displayed at polling booths, Mr Tong said voters had not been given candidates' platforms and pictures to help them cast their vote.
'I asked [Mr Lam during a Legco meeting in May] if the candidates could be identified by a logo [on the ballot paper]. He said he couldn't accommodate a logo but he assured us that we need not worry. The introductory booklet on candidates with their pictures would be there.'
Mr Tong questioned how voters could remember details of over 90 contestants in the social welfare sub-sector and pick 40 from the ballot paper. 'I think all these arrangements are deliberately suppressing an open and fair election,' he said.
Mr Lam said it was impossible to print over 90 photos on the paper. 'We have never undertaken to print the photos of the candidates on the ballot paper. It's just impractical.'
The spokesman for the Registration and Electoral Office said candidates' information had been displayed in polling stations. He said voters could ask for a copy of the leaflet on the candidates.