Hong Kong electoral affairs body removes surveillance cameras from polling station ahead of chief executive vote

Chairman says confidentiality required for election on Sunday

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 25 March, 2017, 6:14pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 25 March, 2017, 10:38pm

Surveillance cameras in the grand hall of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre have been removed as the Electoral Affairs Commission made final preparations for the city’s chief executive election this Sunday.

The 1,194 members of the Election Committee will cast their votes in the main polling station on the third floor of the centre.

EAC chairman Justice Barnabas Fung Wah, speaking to the press after inspecting the venue, said on Saturday that surveillance cameras had been taken away as the ballot was “secret and [had to be] conducted in a confidental manner”.

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Fung said sufficient manpower would be deployed to maintain order and handle any breach of law. “In the event that there are disruptions or a breach of the law, cases will be immediately referred to the police on site for follow-up action.”

The first round of voting will start at 9am and end at 11am on Sunday. If additional rounds are required, the second and third voting sessions will be conducted from 2pm to 3pm and 7pm to 8pm respectively the same day.

More than 50 different media outlets, including foreign organisations, were already lining up outside the centre’s main entrance on Expo Drive in Wan Chai as of 3pm on Saturday. They occupied parts of the pedestrian area by placing stickers and ladders.

Fung appealed to Election Committee members to arrive at the main polling station before 10am to avoid a rush towards the end of the poll.

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He also said: “The chief electoral officer is required by law to retain in his custody the ballot papers and election documents for six months. I shall supervise the whole process in person.

“Unless otherwise directed by an order of court, no person is allowed to inspect any ballot paper and the ballot papers and relevant documents shall be destroyed immediately after ... six months.”

A designated area in the central counting station will be set up for members of the public to observe the count. Admission to the public gallery will be arranged on a first come, first served basis from 10am on Sunday.