Seventeen charged for vote-rigging and bribery in the 2016 ITFC LegCo Election
Charles Mok: Vote-rigging must be sanctioned
(5 September, 2019, Hong Kong) Seventeen individuals are charged for bribery and vote-rigging in the 2016 LegCo Election concerning the Information Technology Functional Constituency (ITFC). Responding to the incident, IT legislator Charles Mok welcomed ICAC’s latest action which he believed will act as a deterrent to the LegCo election next year, and warn against registering as ITFC voter in exchange for a bribe.
“Vote-rigging has long been a serious problem in the ITFC. The latest enforcement action taken by the ICAC proved that there are organised efforts to influence election results. We have to broaden the voter base of the ITFC and implement measures to protect genuine and fair elections,” said Mok.
Mok reported suspected cases of vote-rigging to the ICAC in September 2016. In 2017, ICAC arrested 72 individuals based on corrupt conduct in elections but only 17 are prosecuted till now. In a press statement issued by ICAC today, the authority revealed that false professional and education qualification of 240 persons were submitted in a bid to gain ballots. Mok believed the 17 charged represented only the tip of the iceberg in the illegal campaign trying to rig the elections in the ITFC. The press statement also revealed that unknown persons were found to conspire with the suspects but are currently at large. Mok urged the ICAC to carry on with investigations so that the real culprits can be brought to justice.
Regarding the lost voter registry in Kwai Tsing district that was revealed this year, Mok called on the ICAC to issue clarification on whether investigations and prosecutions were affected by the lost voting records.
Currently, there are around 100,000 IT professionals in Hong Kong but the latest voter registry showed that only 7,000 are registered voters. Mok once again urged the government to implement measures to facilitate voter registration in the ITFC, and the eligible IT professionals to cherish their rights and register as voters.