Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has said that voters have their own choices and that they did not need others to tell them how to vote.
Speaking after he cast his vote on Sunday morning, Leung commented on the fact that at least six candidates suspended their campaigns less than three days before the poll.
He said there was no “drop out” mechanism under the existing election laws. All candidates on the ballot are eligible to receive votes, and he believed voters have their own choices in mind, he said.
“Our election is a democratic election – how is democracy reflected in this election? It is reflected in the fact that voters can choose freely; voters do not need others to tell them how to vote,” he said.
All six of the candidates who recently suspended their campaigns did so due to low rating points in the poll conducted by the University of Hong Kong’s Public Opinion Programme, which predicted that they would not be able to win seats.
But if their supporters chose to vote for other pro-democracy candidates, the pro-democracy camp may get more seats.
Polling station protest
The League of Social Democrats held a protest near the polling station when Leung voted.
Those who attended include its chairman and candidate Avery Ng Man-yuen, candidate “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, and other members.
They were stopped by police officers after the protest, who asked them to submit their identity cards for their records. They were released after half an hour, and the police reserved the right to charge them for assault during the protest, said the League.
Open, fair, just and honest
Meanwhile, the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam Chi-yuen said the poll was conducted openly, fairly, justly and honestly.
He was responding to questions on the safety of ballots and ballot boxes after he voted on Sunday morning.
He said the arrangement for poll officers to take ballots home and back to the poll station on election day had been in place since he was a poll station officer some twenty years ago.
He also said candidates and their assistants can monitor the whole process.
“I believe the measures are very safe, and very effective,” he said.
The legislative election is taking place on Sunday. Full candidate lists across districts and constituencies can be viewed here.