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Welfare cases dip 0.2%

The overall Comprehensive Social Security Assistance caseload dropped by 459 cases to 199,941 in January, down 0.2% from December last year, the Social Welfare Department announced today.   The total number of recipients was 273,349.   Low-earnings cases registered a month-to-month reduction of 0.8% to 1,568. Unemployment cases fell 0.6% to 17,075.   Single parent cases dropped 0.5% to 20,385. Old age cases dipped 0.3% to 112,032.   Meanwhile, ill-health cases increased 0.3% to 27,817, and permanent disability cases remained steady at 17,164.

CE poll nomination to start Apr 3

The Electoral Affairs Commission announced today that the election for the sixth-term Chief Executive will be held on May 8 and the nomination period will run from April 3 to 16.   Notices on the nomination and appointment of the Returning Officer for the election have been gazetted.   Pursuant to the Electoral Procedure (Chief Executive Election) Regulation, an election candidate must submit the completed nomination form in person to the Returning Officer at City Gallery, 3 Edinburgh Place in Central.   As April 15 and 16 are general holidays, the deadline for submitting the nomination form should be 5pm on April 14.   Other than general holidays, the ordinary business hours for submission is 9am to 5pm from Monday to Friday, and 9am to noon on Saturday during the nomination period.   Nomination forms can be obtained on the ground floor of City Gallery during ordinary business hours before the close of the nomination period, and can be downloaded online.   A Hong Kong Special Administrative Region permanent resident who is a Chinese citizen with no right of abode in any foreign country, and has reached 40 years of age and ordinarily resided in Hong Kong for a continuous period of not less than 20 years is eligible for nomination.   Details of the eligibility and disqualification for nomination as a candidate are set out in sections 13 and 14 of the Chief Executive Election Ordinance.   A candidate's nomination must be subscribed by not less than 188 members of the Election Committee (EC), with not less than 15 members in each of the five sectors.   Justice Keith Yeung of the Court of First Instance of the High Court has been appointed by the Electoral Affairs Commission as Returning Officer for the election.   Pursuant to section 4A(5)(b) of the Electoral Procedure (Chief Executive Election) Regulation, in deciding whether a candidate is validly nominated, the Candidate Eligibility Review Committee may require the candidate to furnish any other information that the committee considers appropriate to be satisfied as to the validity of the nomination.   The committee requests each nominee to complete and return the Candidate Eligibility Review Supplementary Information Form, which is distributed together with the nomination forms and can be downloaded online.   Nominees should put the completed Supplementary Information Form in a separate and sealed envelope and hand it in person together with the nomination form to the office of the Returning Officer for onward transmission of the Supplementary Information Form to the Candidate Eligibility Review Committee Secretariat during the nomination period.   Nominees can also submit the completed Supplementary Information Form to the Committee Secretariat no later than noon on April 16 by email, fax 2677 7301 or in the drop-in box of the Secretariat at the entrance at 2/F, East Wing, Central Government Offices, 2 Tim Mei Avenue.   In view of the latest epidemic situation, any EC member who is not in Hong Kong or under compulsory quarantine during the nomination period and needs assistance relating to nomination matters can call Registration & Electoral Office hotline 2891 1001.

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