Editorial:Preventing election fraud in the new system

【明報專訊】The second reading of the amendment bill on reforming Hong Kong's electoral system is expected to be resumed at the end of this month. The ICAC commissioner said that the commission will step up the education campaign for preventing bribery and election fraud. As many new sectors will be introduced to the Election Committee (EC) and many organisations like universities and registered schools will be given the voting right for the first time, some stakeholders may not be familiar with the rules of the election. Nor may they know clearly how to handle invitations to hospitality that carries campaign overtones. By explaining more to the organisations and individuals concerned, the authorities can help them to avoid breaching the law inadvertently. ''Patriots ruling Hong Kong'' can only be achieved by meritocracy. On the mainland, some legal experts believe that the new composition of the EC and the mechanism for a dual nomination threshold will enhance the representation of public interests and bar the unscrupulous and inept from entering the race. In Hong Kong, many are concerned that the concentration of power in the hands of a few will easily lead to corruption. Such differences are a reflection of two contrasting political views. Meritocracy is a political ideal. In reality, there are always people who try to avail themselves of loopholes in the system regardless of the kind of electoral system. While the strict enforcement of the law is of course crucial to the prevention of vote-rigging, the powerful monitoring by the Fourth Estate is also indispensable.