• Sun
  • Jul 13, 2014
  • Updated: 4:10am
NewsHong Kong

'Referendum' voters back greater public voice in 2017 elections

94pc of 'referendum' participants call for voice in nominating candidates for chief executive election but march turnout lower than expected

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 January, 2014, 2:59am
UPDATED : Thursday, 02 January, 2014, 10:04am

Tens of thousands of Hongkongers voted overwhelmingly for more public participation in the 2017 chief executive election in a "civil referendum" on political reform - though turnout at the New Year's Day pro-democracy march disappointed organisers.

The march ended with speeches from Occupy Central organisers, who urged the crowd to lie down to practice how they would react if approached by police should the movement unleash its civil disobedience plan in summer.

Watch: Hongkongers march for “genuine” universal suffrage in the 2017

Meanwhile, scores of radicals who said Occupy was too moderate tried to block streets.

Some 62,000 people voted online or at a packed polling station in Victoria Park in a poll organised by the pro-democracy Occupy Central movement, raising questions on electoral reform.

Organisers of the march, from Victoria Park to Chater Garden, put the number of participants at 30,000 - police said there were 11,000. Last year, organiser the Civil Human Rights Front put the turnout for the January 1 march at 130,000, while police said there were 26,000 marchers.

Lau Siu-kai, a former head of the government's Central Policy Unit think tank, said the lower turnout for the march indicated that some issues sparking discontent had faded from view.

"But other indicators like opinion polls have shown growing discontent … and rising aspirations for universal suffrage," he said. "The government has no room for complacency."

The front's convenor, Yeung Ching-yin, said the turnout was lower than expected, but he believed it "illustrated that some people think marching is not enough to express anger ..."

Government supporters also demonstrated and the Voice of Loving Hong Kong attracted 150 people to a rally in Admiralty.

The "referendum" saw 94 per cent of voters demand the public have a say in nominating candidates for chief executive, while 91 per cent voted against a "filter" mechanism for candidates.

Dr Chan Kin-man, an Occupy organiser, said it reflected "fervent support" for public nomination.

Meanwhile, the chief executive said on his blog he wanted to go down in history for introducing universal suffrage.

He told children visiting Government House he "hoped that in future history books, it will be mentioned that 'universal suffrage was introduced in the chief executive election for the first time during Leung Chun-ying's tenure'."

Watch: Thousands join virtual vote on universal suffrage in Hong Kong



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This article is now closed to comments

Those who designed this voting think the people of HK are stupid, but they do not know that all the people of HK know that they are in fact stupid. The voting system is obviously designed to mislead and to deceive, even a primary student can tell.
the sun also rises
democracy not suitable for Hong Kong ? Absurd to the extreme !
We Hongkongers are vigorously pursue a geniune universal suffrage in 2017 indeed !
No give in but strive for it !
A "referendum" with votes from less than 1% population. They should be glad they may have broken the Guinness Word Records. Still they will say these polling results represent the views of the whole population.
Then again it does show that even in a small grouping there are a mass of HK people who want a say in their future. I am sure that the Masters in Beijing don't like that (hence hiring you all) but it is the reality. Do you have a contrary poll where HK people said "no, please let the Princelings and Kings in Beijing run my life because I am incapable of doing so." Did not think so.
Exactly..........the people who participated barely is enough to represent the HK population and then the media says that "HK people have spoken"..............give me a break man.............Let's get the media to understand a bit about polling and market sampling before they make such ignorant comments.
Nuisance. Wasting time?
How can intelligent people having a rational discourse be a nuisance or a waste of time unless you are one of those people who thinks that governance is meant for Princelings and Princesslings, and not for silly little normal humans.
What many of the Occupy movement forget is that democracy is not a suitable model for Hong Kong.
Why is it unsuitable for HK? Because the masters in Beijing don't like non-communists taking a role in their governance. Because people might disagree with the masters? If that is the case why did the masters agree to universal sufferage in the Basic Law? Could the masters have been mistaken? Of course not. That would be heresy. I think we can handle it, but if you don't want to you can vote for a Beijing stooge candidate as you can rest assured there will be several.
That's your opinion


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