Candidates for this year’s Legislative Assembly election are required to declare in advance their participation in third-party events held 15 days prior to or on Election Day when such events involve the distribution of gifts or other benefits, said Tong Hio Fong, the chairman of the Electoral Commission.
The chairman, who is also a judge of the Court of Second Instance, indicated yesterday that it was necessary for candidates to declare their participation in these events even if the events have nothing to do with the election.
According to the judge, events such as dinners or travel tours will be covered in the scope of the declaration scheme if organisers distribute gifts during the activities.
The chairman added that any legal person who is planning to hold an event prior to or on the day of election would also be required to make a declaration to the Commission, stating place, date, time and content of the event, while election candidates will have to inform the Commission of the details of their campaign activities as well.
In addition, the scheme requires candidates to declare information of the entities they have served in the past year.
“After receiving the information, we will timely post them on our website as to ensure the public is well [informed],” said the chairman. “The [new declaration] system will also ensure the supervision [of the electoral campaign].”
Public departments such as the city’s corruption watchdog – the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC) – can perform inspections once the event is in progress, the chairman added.
Candidates or legal persons can make declarations of the events by either approaching the Commission office or via electronic channels such as Cloud, fax and emails.
The Electoral Commission is planning to set up Cloud platforms with the aid of Macau Post and the Telecommunications Bureau, he said.
According to the Electoral Law those failing to make a declaration will be subject to a penalty of between MOP10,000 and MOP100,000.
Asked how long it would take for the Commission to reveal the declarations information, the chairman indicated that they will each be examined, adding that the declared details will be posted publicly as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, the list of candidates can only be submitted once the Chief Executive confirms the date of the election, the chairman added.