A Hong Kong court Thursday ruled a law that prohibits encouraging others not to vote in an election or to cast an invalid vote is constitutional, the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) reported.The decision came during the prosecution of Jacky So Tsun-Fung, who was charged with one count of evading s27A(1) of Hong Kong’s Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance. The charge was issued by the Hong Kong ICAC after So was accused of resharing a post on his social media written by Hui Chi-fung which encouraged people to cast blank votes in the 2021 Legislative Council General Election.After the provision was found constitutional, So pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.The decision is the latest development in a spate of prosecutions for inciting people to cast invalid votes. Earlier this month, the Hong Kong ICAC reported that Wong Chi-yan had also pleaded guilty to an offence under s27A(1) of the Ordinance. Wong was reportedly charged alongside three others accused of similar offences.Violations of s27A(1) of the Ordinance carry a maximum penalty of three years’ imprisonment and a $200,000 fine.
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