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Thursday, Aug 11, 2022

Two charged for election meddling

A former student union head of Chinese University of Hong Kong and a welfare worker have been charged with reposting messages on social media calling on people to cast blank votes at last year's Legislative Council election by the anti-graft watchdog.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption said yesterday that the duo was charged because they had allegedly reposted a social media post by self-exiled former lawmaker Ted Hui Chi-fung advocating for voters not to vote or to cast blank votes during the election period.

The two - former president of the CUHK Student Union So Tsun-fung, 22, and welfare worker Chan Sing, 58 - each face one count of engaging in illegal conduct to incite another person not to vote or to cast invalid votes, by activity in public during the election period - contrary to the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance. So was accused of reposting the post between October 30 and December 15, while Chan was charged for posting it between October 30 and November 2.

The ICAC said the two were charged after being advised by the Department of Justice.

"The ICAC had earlier conducted investigations into online posts which incited others to cast blank votes at the 2021 Legco Election," it said.

According to the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance, the "election period" was considered the period from the start of the nomination period, October 30, 2021, to the polling day, December 19.

If found guilty, the maximum penalty for the offense is three years' imprisonment and a fine of HK$200,000.

The two suspects were released on bail, pending their court appearance in the West Kowloon magistrates' courts for their pleas tomorrow.
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