Published: 13:00, November 24, 2023 | Updated: 18:05, November 24, 2023
DC election: CE cautions against attacks, 'soft resistance'
By Wang Zhan

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu gives instructions on the overall plan of the upcoming District Council Ordinary Election at a meeting in the city, Nov 23, 2023. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVT)

HONG KONG – Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu has reminded various bureaus and departments to stay vigilant and resolve any risks, including disruptions and interference, attacks and smearing, and even acts of "soft resistance" against the upcoming District Council Ordinary Election.

He issued the instruction when he convened a cross-bureau and interdepartmental steering meeting on Thursday to discuss the preparatory work for the seventh District Council election scheduled to be held on Dec 10.

He received briefings from officials on the preparatory work for the polling of the election and gave his instructions on the overall plan.

READ MORE: Candidates of HK's DC election briefed on electoral guidelines

Stressing the significance of the Dec 10 election, which is the first major citywide election after improving the district governance system and reforming the District Councils (DCs), he urged various bureaus and departments to ensure that the election will be conducted in an open, fair, honest, safe and orderly manner.

In light of the District Council election that will take place in around two weeks' time, various bureaux and departments should ensure that the election will be conducted in an open, fair, honest, safe and orderly manner.

John Lee, Chief Executive, HKSAR

“They should endeavor their best in their preparation to achieve four targets: to ensure the polling and counting processes be completed efficiently, to prevent corrupt and illegal conduct, to deliver their best at publicity work and to encourage the public to cast their votes,” he said.

Chief Secretary Chan Kwok-ki and other senior officials as well as heads and representatives of the relevant bureaus and departments, reported their progress and coordination efforts in the election preparations.

The CE instructed bureaus and departments concerned to continue to step up their publicity efforts, saying that launching activities through diverse platforms and creative means targeting all sectors of the community would motivate the public to cast their votes on polling day.

Such promotional efforts should enable members of the public to fully understand that improvements to the district governance system and reforms to the DCs are highly relevant to their livelihood and important to improving district governance, he said.

He emphasized that the civil service should shoulder the responsibility of supporting and implementing the policies relating to the DC election.

Lee called on them to lead by example and fulfill their civic responsibility by casting their votes to elect DC members who have the capability and dedication.

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This will assist bureaus and departments to better grasp the pulse of the community, provide more effective services to meet people’s needs and benefit the community as a result, Lee noted.

“We should adopt the bottom-line thinking, be well-prepared, and take prompt responsive actions, to handle different kinds of contingencies effectively, so as to ensure the election on Dec 10 can be smoothly completed in a fair, just, clean, safe and orderly manner,” he said.

Staff of the Registration and Electoral Office brief Chairman of the Electoral Affairs Commission Justice David Lok (back row, center) and the EAC members Professor Daniel Shek (back row, first right) and Bernard Man, (back row, second right) on the computer-assisted counting for the District Committees constituencies for the 2023 District Council Ordinary Election. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVT)

The same day, Chairman of the Electoral Affairs Commission Justice David Lok inspected the demonstration of polling and counting arrangements by the Registration and Electoral Office (REO) for the District Council election to ensure that the work for polling and counting on the polling day will be conducted smoothly and efficiently.

The REO will set up over 600 District Council geographical constituency ordinary polling stations for over 4.33 million electors to vote. There will be one District Committee constituency (DCC) polling station in each of the 18 districts for DCC electors to vote.

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REO staff gave a demonstration to Justice Lok and the commission members of each polling procedure, including the ordinary and special queues in a polling station, the special counter and voting compartment for use by electors in need, steps for issuing ballot papers using the Electronic Poll Register system, the set-up of a polling station and points to note for the no staying zone and no canvassing zone.

The staff members also introduced to Justice Lok and the EAC members the ballot paper checking system installed at DCC polling stations and the procedures of ballot paper sorting and computer-assisted counting for the DCCs.