The Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) of Hong Kong Tuesday stressed that the mechanism of "primaries" doesn't exit under the law of Hong Kong, saying the "so-called 'primaries' is not part of the electoral procedures of the Legislative Council (LegCo) election or other public elections."
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is scheduled to hold a general election for the seventh-term LegCo in September. However, the opposition camp in Hong Kong recently organized so-called "primaries."
In its statement, the EAC also pointed out in accordance with the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance (ECICO), "it will be a corrupt conduct if a person corruptly affects a person to stand or not to stand as a candidate by bribery, force, duress or deception."
The person who commits an offense is liable on conviction to a fine of 500,000 HK dollars and to imprisonment for seven years, the EAC warned.
According to the statement, the ECICO requests all candidates to lodge with the appropriate authority an election return setting out the candidate's election expenses and all election donations received.
If the definition of "candidate" is met under the ECICO, regardless of whether he or she has submitted his or her nomination form to run for the 2020 LegCo election, he or she must declare all election expenses involved, the statement added.
A candidate who has submitted a nomination form may withdraw his or her candidature only before the end of the nomination period, said the statement, adding that under the subsisting law, candidates are not allowed to withdraw their candidature after the end of the nomination period and there is no such mechanism of so-called "abandonment of election."
The EAC reiterated that residents can make a report to the Independent Commission Against Corruption if anyone is suspected to have violated the ECICO and the EAC will handle any relevant complaint received in a serious manner and refer to law enforcement agencies for follow-up.
Noting that the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was implemented on June 30, the EAC told the public to take heed of the relevant provisions in the course of organizing and participating in election-related activities.
"Under Article 29 of the National Security Law, a person who steals, spies, obtains with payment, or unlawfully provides State secrets or intelligence concerning national security for a foreign country or an institution, organisation or individual outside the mainland, Hong Kong, and Macao of the People's Republic of China shall be guilty of an offence," said the EAC.
"A person who requests a foreign country or an institution, organisation or individual outside the mainland, Hong Kong, and Macao of the People's Republic of China, or conspires with a foreign country or an institution, organisation or individual outside the mainland, Hong Kong, and Macao of the People's Republic of China, or directly or indirectly receives instructions, control, funding or other kinds of support from a foreign country or an institution, organisation or individual outside the mainland, Hong Kong, and Macao of the People's Republic of China, to commit rigging or undermining an election in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which is likely to cause serious consequences, shall be guilty of an offence," the EAC added.