Wang Wong slogan cleared

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Howick and Pakuranga Times

THE Electoral Commission has ruled in favour of Botany ACT Party candidate Kenneth Wang, clearing him of possible breaches of the Electoral Finance Act for a billboard campaign slogan.

Last month the National Party sent a complaint to the Electoral Commission worried that Mr Wangs hoardings stating Vote Kenneth Wang, get Wang and Wong could see it financially liable under the Electoral Finance Act.

National believed Mr Wangs billboards were a promotion for the National Party and had been advertised without its authorisation.

The commissions determination, however, rules out any sway toward a National promotion, deeming Mr Wangs billboard safe.

Electoral Commission chief executive Dr Helena Catt released its ruling on Monday. It is the commissions view that the items do not contain election advertising in favour of the National Party, and therefore do not contravene the requirements of section 65 (1), said Dr Catt.

She warns the commissions decision does not mean that other entities such as the police or the Electoral Office could reach the same verdict.

The Electoral Commission has formed its view on the basis of the information available to it and is not the final decision maker, says Dr Catt. Other agencies, including the police, may reach a different conclusion as a result of their different investigative mandate and wider prosecutorial discretion.

A second complaint was taken to the Electoral Office by Botanys National candidate Pansy Wong for the use of her name in Mr Wangs campaign.

The Electoral Office told the Times on Tuesday its findings also vindicate Mr Wang, stating no authorisation was needed from Ms Wong for the inclusion of her name on the ACT Party hoardings.

Mr Wang is pleased with the outcome and says the complaints were a dirty tactic from National. There was never any substance to this complaint. I am clearly asking for an electorate vote for myself. Pansy Wong is getting desperate, says Mr Wang. The slogan is a simple statement of the facts of the MMP system.

Ms Wong says the Electoral Office has not informed her of its ruling on the use of her name on Mr Wangs billboard.

She told the Times yesterday she had not received any communication from the Electoral Office on its final decision and shes reserving a public response until the whole complaint issue and all rulings are formally finalised with her party.

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