Election watchdog gets 17 complaints, transfers 9 to CCAC, PSP & PJ

2021-09-07 03:23     Comment:0

Prisca Tang

        The Electoral Affairs Commission for the Legislative Assembly Election (CEAL) had received 17 complaints until yesterday, and nine of the cases have been transferred to the relevant government entities – two cases have been transferred to the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC), six to the Public Security Police (PSP) and one to the Judiciary Police (PJ), CEAL President Tong Hio Fong told reporters yesterday on the sidelines of a media tour of a mock polling station at the Tap Seac Multisport Pavilion.

Tong said that the complaints include candidates interrupting each other during the election campaign, putting their posters up in illegal places, and suspected cases of giving money in exchange for votes.

He also pointed out that a recent rumour claimed that a candidacy list had used public resources in a centre under the Education and Youth Development Bureau (DSEDJ) to print election promotion material. He underlined that the commission has already contacted the bureau and transferred the case to Judiciary Police to follow up on the alleged case. He stressed that public entities should remain neutral and not be involved in electioneering, adding that if the public entity was found to having helped the list, it would face legal consequences.

This coming Sunday is polling day.

Meanwhile, the Macau Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau (SMG) announced that a tropical cyclone named Conson has been developing over the seas east of the Philippines and is expected to move across Luzon in the next few days, possibly entering the northern part of the South China Sea in the latter part of this week. When reporters asked Tong whether Sunday’s election would have to be postponed if the No. 8 typhoon warning signal was hoisted on polling day, he said that according to the law the election date could be delayed for one week, or the chief executive could choose another date within a month. Tong pointed out that if the election date is postponed, the campaign period will be extended accordingly.

In terms of Health Bureau guidelines, Tong said that on the day of the election, residents can visit to check each polling station’s maximum capacity and how many people are already there. He also noted that at the polling stations there will be stickers on the floor indicating the one metre “social distancing” rule. Tong pointed out that during normal circumstances the number of voters at each polling station will be shown in green, but if the number reaches two thirds of its maximum capacity, the number will be shown in orange, adding that if the number is in red the location has reached its maximum capacity.

Tong urged voters to check the real time numbers before heading to their designated polling stations and reminded residents that the opening hours for polling stations are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. This, he said, was sufficient for all voters to cast their ballots, adding that there was no need to rush to the stations at 9 a.m.

A mock polling station is operating at the Tap Seac Multisport Pavilion until Friday. It is open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. for voters to familiarise themselves with the voting procedure.

The Legislative Assembly Electoral Affairs Commission (CEAL) President Tong Hio Fong casts a mock ballot yesterday during a media tour of the voting simulation station at the Tap Seac Multisport Pavilion yesterday. Photo: Prisca Tang

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