ICAC to monitor elections

THE exemption of rural elections from anti-corruption laws is to be abolished, legislators were told yesterday.

The polls would instead be scrutinised by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Michael Leung Chin-man told a joint meeting of the Legislative Council constitutional panel and the women's affairs committee.

This would mean the ICAC would need about 40 extra officers to monitor the elections and investigate any alleged bribery.

Present anti-corruption laws covered elections in the Legislative Council, municipal councils, district boards and Heung Yee Kuk. The change would be made in the Legco session beginning in October.

The Government told legislators concerned about the tradition of refusing women the vote that it would apply the one-person one-vote principle to all elections.