Organisers of Occupy Central say they will promote the political reform proposal that wins the most votes in a civil referendum next month - even if a greater number of voters register abstentions.
The trio spearheading the pro-democracy civil disobedience movement yesterday announced the details of the June 20-22 citywide poll, in which members of the public will be asked two questions.
The first question will ask the voter to pick from one of three proposals for electoral reform or register an abstention. The second question will ask whether Legco should veto the government's proposal if it does not "satisfy international standards allowing genuine choices by electors". The second question will also have an option for voters to register an abstention.
With regard to the first question, the movement will champion the proposal with the most votes - even if more voters pick the option of abstention.
"We will endorse the winning proposal regardless of the number of abstention, blank or invalid votes," said organiser Dr Benny Tai Yiu-ting, a law academic at the University of Hong Kong. "There may be many different reasons behind the abstentions, making it hard to interpret the true implications to the Occupy movement."
Each of the three proposals, shortlisted from 15 during a May 6 vote by the movement's 2,500 supporters, calls for the public to be able to nominate chief executive candidates in 2017.
Some moderate pan-democrats say this is too narrow a choice, given that both local and central governments have already ruled out such an option.
Tai sidestepped a question on how one should vote if they were against public nomination. However, he appealed to the public: "Do not cast abstentions or blank votes."
Dr Chan Kin-man said that if the referendum failed to reach its target turnout of 100,000, he and the other two organisers - Tai and Reverend Chu Yiu-ming - would "hold a retreat" to contemplate Occupy's next move.
"We would not necessarily scrap the Occupy movement. But we will apologise and think about the next step," Chan said.
Eligibility: Permanent residents aged 18 and above
How to vote: Twelve traditional polling stations will be open from 10am to 10pm on June 22. Electronic voting via popvote.hk or mobile app will be open from midday on June 20 to 9pm on June 22 (website capacity: 800,000)
1. For CE Election 2017, I support Occupy Central with Love and Peace to submit this proposal to the government:
- Alliance for True Democracy's proposal
- People Power's proposal
- Students' proposal
2. If the government's proposal cannot satisfy international standards allowing genuine choices by electors, Legco should veto it. My stance is:
- Legco should veto
- Legco should not veto