The ICAC today (4th) mounted an enforcement operation and arrested a 38-year-old man who works as a computer programmer for allegedly contravening the Electoral Ordinance by reposting a post on an online social media platform inciting others to boycott the election during this year's District Council election. The man is under investigation and is being detained for investigation.


The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) today (4th) mounted an enforcement operation and arrested a 38-year-old man who worked as a computer programmer for suspected contravention of the Electoral Ordinance (file photo)

The ICAC today (4th) mounted an enforcement operation and arrested a 38-year-old man who worked as a computer programmer suspected of violating Section 27A of the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance (EO) for inciting another person not to vote or cast invalid votes by public activity during the election period.

The maximum penalty for contravening the Electoral Ordinance is three years' imprisonment and a fine of $20,<>

It is alleged that during the 2023 District Council Ordinary Election (DC) Ordinary Election (DC) election, the man reposted a post on an online social media platform inciting others to boycott the election. During the operation, ICAC officers seized the mobile phone of the arrested man and detained him for investigation, and the ICAC said that it would not rule out further enforcement action and would submit the results of the investigation to the Department of Justice for legal advice on whether to prosecute upon completion of the investigation.

The ICAC said that it will be responsible for enforcing the Electoral Ordinance and will take strict enforcement action against all suspected contraventions of the Ordinance to ensure fairness, impartiality and integrity of the election. The ICAC also reminds members of the public that publicly appealing for a boycott may result in an offence under Section 27A of the Electoral Ordinance, which carries a maximum penalty of three years' imprisonment and a fine of $20,<> upon conviction.

On 11 November, a banner was hung on the East Tsim Sha Tsui Bridge for a large District Council election. (Photo by Su Weiran)

The ICAC reminds that the Electoral Ordinance has extraterritorial jurisdiction

The ICAC appeals to members of the public to strictly abide by the law and refrain from participating in illegal appeals or reprinting relevant illegal contents, so as to jointly safeguard the integrity and fairness of the election. The ICAC has prepared publicity and education materials and reference materials for the Clean District Council Election and uploaded them to the dedicated webpage (www.icac.org.hk/elections) for public reference.

The ICAC also pointed out that the nomination period for the current District Council Election commenced on October 10 this year, and according to the Electoral Ordinance, the election period for this election is defined from that day until the polling day (i.e. 17 December 2023). Public activities include any form of communication to the public, including postings on online social media platforms, and the distribution or dissemination of any material to the public. The Electoral Ordinance has extraterritorial jurisdiction over all election-related acts, whether they are done within Hong Kong or elsewhere.

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