Date
22 October 2017
Kwu Hon-keung (left) says he never arranged for the elderly to vote for him. A senior resident (right) was immediately corrected by staff of an elderly home when he said he had come to vote for a certain candidate. Photos: i-Cable
Kwu Hon-keung (left) says he never arranged for the elderly to vote for him. A senior resident (right) was immediately corrected by staff of an elderly home when he said he had come to vote for a certain candidate. Photos: i-Cable

Complaints flood election body in wake of district polls

Hong Kong election authorities received more than 2,400 complaints relating to Sunday’s district polls.

These included hundreds of elderly people being brought to polling stations and coached which candidate to vote, according to Ming Pao Daily.

Altogether, the Registration and Electoral Office collected 2,429 complaints.

Chan Wai-kin of the Progressive Teachers’ Alliance said he saw seniors being bussed to polling stations in vans, some wearing the No. 1 badge, suggesting they had pre-selected a particular candidate.

Kwok Fu-yung of the pro-establishment Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) was candidate No. 1 in the Tai Pak Tin constituency in Kwai Tsing district.

She won with 2,880 votes, beating incumbent Sammy Tsui of the Democratic Party who had 1,997 votes.

Electoral Affairs Commission chairman Barnabas Fung said if the free rides came with conditions, these would be in breach of the election ordinance.

The maximum penalty is a jail term of seven years and a fine of HK$500,000 (US$64,513).

Chan said the escort services were highly organized. Some of the mainly Putonghua-speaking members prevented people from taking pictures of the activity.

He said more than 30 seniors were driven to polling stations during the five hours he observed the operation.

Chan said he overheard them being told they would be brought to a Chinese restaurant for a meal afterwards. 

DAB’s Kwok said she had no idea of any such activity.

Meanwhile, nowTV reported that some elderly voters in Siu Sai Wan constituency were escorting fellow seniors in and out of polling stations and slipping notes with “No. 2″ on them.

Chu Yat-on, candidate No. 2 in the district, denied any knowledge of the alleged incident.

In Tuen Mun, a Cable TV news crew said they saw staff of Kwong Fuk Elderly Care Center taking seniors to vote, uttering “No. 3, No.3” as they walked into the polling station in groups.

Non-partisan candidate Kwu Hon-keung said he never arranged for residents of elderly homes to vote for him.

– Contact us at english@hkej.com

EL/JP/RA

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