Three proposals that push for public nomination of chief executive hopefuls in 2017, an idea already dismissed by Beijing, triumphed in Occupy Central's third and final "deliberation day" yesterday in a vote on models for a citywide "referendum" on political reform.
Eight relatively moderate proposals, including suggestions by Civic Party lawmaker Ronny Tong Ka-Wah and former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang's Hong Kong 2020 think tank, failed to make the cut.
The University of Hong Kong's public opinion programme director, Dr Robert Chung Ting-yiu, who was in charge of the electronic voting, said the ballot was topped by a joint proposal tabled by the activist group Scholarism and the Federation of Students, with support from 1,142 of the 2,560 supporters present.
People Power's public nomination proposal came second with 708 votes, while the Alliance for True Democracy's plan came third with 452 votes.
A proposal by 18 academics that does away with public nominations trailed far behind with only 76 votes, while Chan and Tong's proposals clinched 43 and 17 votes respectively.
When asked whether the vote lacked representation or failed to give Hongkongers a genuine choice in the referendum next month, Occupy Central organiser Benny Tai Yiu-ting said: "It's showing the demand of the people actively pushing forward Hong Kong's democratic movement … And it's the reality that you have to face, whether you are radical, moderate, pro-establishment, or [from] the SAR or Beijing governments."
Scholarism's convenor Joshua Wong Chi-fung said he was happy that his group's plan won, and they would discuss with People Power and the alliance about co-operating in future.
Tong said he was not disappointed with the result because he "had little expectation about the unrepresentative" poll. He would continue to enlist public support for his blueprint.
The Occupy campaign vows to mobilise more than 10,000 people to block the main streets of Central if the government fails to offer a satisfactory plan for democratic reform.
At Chinese University, one of five venues for the meetings, members of People Power and the Faculty of Orchid Gardening urged supporters to pick proposals under which only the public would nominate candidates.
Attempts by members of the faculty to vote before discussions had been concluded led to chaos.
Radical lawmaker "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung even voted against a plan from the Alliance for True Democracy, of which he is a member. "My strategy is to get rid of the proposals from the academics and Hong Kong 2020," Leung said.
Minor scuffles broke out before another of the meetings, at a church in North Point, as activists from pro-government group Caring Hong Kong Power hurled insults at participants. Meetings also took place in Choi Hung, Tseung Kwan O and Yuen Long.
Vice-President Li Yuanchao reiterated Beijing's opposition to Occupy when he met members of the Hong Kong Federation of Fujian Associations in Beijing on Monday.