Teams to combat breaches in district board elections
By FUNG WAI-KONG
INVESTIGATION teams are to be set up in an effort to stop malpractices during campaigning for September's district board elections.
Releasing the election guidelines yesterday, Boundary and Election Commission chairman Mr Justice Woo Kwok-hing said: ''These teams will undertake regulatory checks on possible breaches of the guidelines and collect evidence so related authorities can deal with election-related complaints promptly.'' Government departments had pledged to co-operate with the commission to enforce the guidelines, he said.
Team members will come from the Registration and Electoral Office and will be required to declare they have no relationship with the candidates in the district they will cover.
The teams, consisting of no less than three members, will cover all 18 districts.
The commission has made some changes in the guidelines following the month-long consultation which ended last month.
Candidates will have to withdraw their previous nominations before being nominated for another constituency.
Owners and occupiers of blocks of flats and other premises should decide by secret ballot whether to allow candidates access to the premises to conduct their campaigns.
Mr Justice Woo said more than 8,000 letters and guidelines had been sent to owners' incorporations, mutual-aid committee, tenants' associations and management companies.
He said the most important principle was to have fair treatment of candidates on private premises.
The commission also agreed to exempt small handbills and leaflets from the requirement for serial numbering.
The guidelines take effect from today.