Voting hours for CE race may be extended: Erick Tsang

The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Erick Tsang, said the government is considering extending the voting hours for next month’s Chief Executive election due to infection control considerations.

Speaking at a virtual Legco meeting on Wednesday, Tsang said daily infections in Hong Kong remain high and officials have to strike a balance between reducing infection risk and ensuring the smooth running of the event.

“Our original plan is to reserve two hours in the morning for election committee members to vote at the Convention and Exhibition Centre. We might now extend the voting hours a bit, and election committee members might be asked to enter the venue at different time slots to reduce crowding,” he said.

“We are also considering arrangements for election committee members who have to be isolated because they’re infected or close contacts, so they can exercise their right to vote during isolation.”

The minister said despite the current Covid restrictions, CE hopefuls can still meet with election committee members, as gatherings related to the election are exempted.

Candidates can also greet the public as long as the gatherings follow requirements, such as those on mask-wearing and temperature checks.

Nomination for the CE race runs till April 16, and the 1,500-strong election committee will select Hong Kong’s next leader on May 8.