Leung Chun-ying

Candidate seeks new way to challenge CE poll result

Man who lost in last year's election says losers should be able to question results in court, too

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 June, 2013, 4:12am

The city's top court was presented with the question of how future candidates for chief executive can challenge the end result.

The issue was raised by the man who came third to Leung Chun-ying in last year's elections, Democrat Albert Ho Chun-yan, who was granted permission by the Appeal Committee of the Court of Final Appeal to submit questions of law.

It followed his own failed challenge to last year's election, claiming the chief executive was not duly elected because he made false statements before and during the campaign.

Martin Lee Chu-ming SC, representing Ho, told the Court of Final Appeal yesterday that the chief executive candidates should be allowed to challenge the results through both the election petition procedure and a judicial review.

Lee explained that a challenge under the election petition procedure involves grounds listed in the Chief Executive Election Ordinance - such as alleged corrupt conduct. And it must be lodged within seven days of the announcement of the results.

He argued that after the seven-day deadline, candidates should also be entitled to question the results by way of judicial review. "It provides another route that the election can be challenged," he said.

However, Johnny Mok Shiu-luen SC and Michael Thomas SC, representing the chief executive and the Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung, said candidates could only dispute the results via the election petition procedure.

The court was also asked to address whether the seven-day time limit of filing an election petition involved any infringement of the right of access to a court guaranteed by the Basic Law, and if so, whether the time limit was unconstitutional.

Mr Justice Johnson Lam Man-hon ruled in the Court of First Instance last October that the limit was unconstitutional. His decision came despite dismissing Ho's plea for an extension to the deadline, after ruling that his particular challenge had too little merit to justify it.

The hearing continues today.