Provisional Legislative Council
Panel on Constitutional Affairs Meeting on 6 February 1998

Publicity Strategy to Promote the 1998 Legislative Council Elections


This paper informs Members of the publicity strategy to promote the first Legislative Council (LegCo) elections of the HKSAR to be held on 24 May 1998, and the Election Committee (EC) subsector elections to be held on 2 April 1998.

Publicity Strategy

2. The campaign will commence in early February and will continue until the polling day for the LegCo elections on 24 May. Throughout the entire period, there will be a series of publicity activities to tie in with the key events leading to the LegCo elections (Annex). The emphasis will change as the polling day draws near. Moreover, there will be special publicity from mid-February to 2 April for the EC subsector elections on 2 April. Thereafter, all publicity will be concentrated on the LegCo elections on 24 May.

General Publicity (from February onwards)

3. At the beginning of our campaign, our objectives are to educate the public on the functions and composition of the LegCo, as well as the general features of the elections. We would demonstrate the very close relationship between the work of LegCo and the everyday life of Hong Kong people. We would also familiarize the public with the electoral and polling arrangements, especially the list voting system to be introduced for the first time for GC election. As the polling day draws near, we will emphasize that all voters only need to visit a polling station near their home to cast a vote, and impress upon them that the polling procedures are simple, easy to understand, and not time consuming.

4. From early February onwards, we will produce posters, leaflets, TV and radio APIs to generate public awareness of the elections. We will also publicize through the various channels eg newspapers, magazines, district newspapers, internet, as well as different forms of public transport. Election enquiry hotlines will be set up by both the REO and the ICAC.

5. From March onwards until 24 May, we shall stage a series of roving exhibitions in major shopping centres covering the main features of LegCo Elections and polling procedures. The roving exhibitions will be supplemented by smaller-scale mobile exhibitions organized by HAD in various districts to reach a wider audience. Other district publicity events will also be organised to supplement those mounted at the central level, whilst adapting to the local situation. In addition, the ICAC will arrange a series of activities to promote fair and honest elections.

Special Publicity on EC Subsector Elections (mid February to 2 April)

6. From mid-February to 2 April, on top of the general publicity arrangements, there will be special publicity on the EC subsector elections through TV and radio APIs, advertisements in newspapers, posters, leaflets as well as special TV and radio programmes produced by RTHK. We would inform the public that, as part of the process to the general elections in May, an EC has to be formed through a separate election, i.e. the EC subsector election to be held on 2 April. CAB, in conjunction with REO, will conduct a series of briefings for representative organisations in different subsectors to explain the detailed arrangements of the EC subsector elections as well as the general elections in May.

7. One round of free mailing will be provided for each EC subsector candidate to his/her constituents. In addition, the REO will send introductory leaflets on the candidates to all registered voters. The information on the candidates will also be put on the internet. Meanwhile, general publicity arrangements for the LegCo elections in May would continue at the district level.

Enhanced Publicity on LegCo Elections (3 April to 24 May 1998)

8. From 3 April onwards, publicity will concentrate on the May election. We will enhance all forms of publicity to build up the atmosphere and further heighten public awareness of the polling day i.e. Sunday 24 May 1998. The emphasis would be - the polling procedures are simple and easy, the polling stations are conveniently located, and that casting a vote takes very little time. Arrangements will be made to have the message "Vote on 24 May" to appear on the statement/demand notes of public utilities companies and banks, government rate and water bills, etc. Pager companies will also be asked to disseminate the message to their clients.

9. To enable the electors to know more about the candidates, the RTHK will produce various TV and radio programmes such as election platform, election fora, questions and answers sessions as well as documentary programmes. District election fora will also be organised by the District Officers. In addition, the REO will send introductory leaflets on the candidates to all registered electors. The information on the candidates will also be put on the internet. For each LegCo candidate, two rounds of free mailing will be provided.

10. A set of two commemorative cards will be produced by the Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC). The first one will be sent to the registered voters together with the poll cards, and the other will be issued to the voters on their leaving the polling stations after they have cast their votes. The EAC has also commissioned the Hongkong Post to issue souvenir covers which will be put on sale one or two weeks before the polling day. A commemorative postmark will also be issued on 23 May to mark the LegCo elections.

11. About two weeks before the polling day, an "Election Special" will be published to introduce all the candidates and polling procedures. The Election Special will be of magazine size in full-colour printing. There will be wide distribution through the District Offices, post offices, umbrella organizations in FCs, MACs/OCs, management offices in public housing estates and private buildings, etc.

12. One week before polling day, count-down will begin through the use of the printed and electronic media. On polling day, there will be special publicity, including appeals through all electronic and printed media, appeals by senior government officials and celebrities, VIP visits to polling stations, bus parade, etc. The aim is to create an election atmosphere throughout the territory, and to urge all registered voters to come out and cast their vote on that day.

Constitutional Affairs Bureau
4 February 1998


Key Events Leading to the LegCo Elections on 24 May 1998

Events Timing
(a) Publication of Provisional Register and omissions list (i.e. the entries deleted from the electoral roll)

13 February
(b) Publication of the Final Register

13 March
(c) Nomination of candidates for EC subsectors election

13-20 March
(d) Polling day for EC subsector election

2 April
(e) Publication of EC subsector election results and EC Final Register

9 April
(f) Nomination of candidates for LegCo elections

9-24 April
(g) Polling day for LegCo elections (GC, FC and EC)

24 May