Date
24 March 2017
A Ming Pao reporter (inset) shows scratches in the neck. He and a companion were reportedly abused and jostled at the event. Photos: HKEJ, Ming Pao
A Ming Pao reporter (inset) shows scratches in the neck. He and a companion were reportedly abused and jostled at the event. Photos: HKEJ, Ming Pao

Pre-election banquet may have broken law

A candidate in Sunday’s Legislative Council elections may have breached election rules by hosting a banquet in which she allegedly solicited votes.

The Hong Kong Economic Journal is reporting that Letitia Lee hosted a dinner and lucky draw for supporters at a Tsim Sha Tsui restaurant.

Lee, convenor of the Alliance in Support of Our Police Force, is running for a seat in New Territories East.

The party was held Wednesday night purportedly to mark the alliance’s second anniversary but might have broken election guidelines, according to sources cited by the newspaper.

It was first reported by Ming Pao Daily, which said two of its reporters were attacked at the event. 

Lee’s campaign manager said election leaflets were distributed at the banquet but added it was organized by Lee’s supporters and she had no hand in it.

Barrister Stephen Char, a former chief investigator in the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), said the banquet was no doubt an election campaign.

Lee might have broken the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance if she failed to report the expenses.

The banquet had 12 tables worth up to HK$40,000, or about HK3,000 per table.

An ICAC spokesman declined to comment, saying only that the agency will act if it receives a formal complaint.

In a live broadcast Thursday on Facebook, Lee dismissed accusations of bribery at the banquet, saying the guests paid their way and the lucky draw prizes were also donated by some of them.

Meanwhile, Ming Pao Daily issued a statement Thursday condemning the reporters’ alleged attackers and demanding an apology.

The statement said the reporters were verbally abused and jostled after they identified themselves.

Both were injured, it said.

The Hong Kong Journalists Association and the Hong Kong Press Photographers Association said in a joint statement that any attack on media workers is “absolutely unacceptable”.

Police have identified two suspects and an investigation is under way.

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TL/AC/RA

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