The Democratic Party yesterday started a 'countdown clock' which will tick for the next four years, until July 1, 2007. That is the date after which changes may be made to the method of electing Hong Kong's chief executive. The clock, which began ticking at 8pm yesterday, is located at 359 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai - and will be clearly visible to marchers in today's mass protest against the government. Legislator James To Kun-sun said the clock had been dubbed 'Hong Kong has hope', referring to the possibility that the third chief executive could be elected by universal suffrage. 'On July 1, 2007, we will have hope, because we will be able to pick our leader,' he said. Mr To said the idea was actually suggested by broadcaster Albert Cheng King-hon, and spurred on by another broadcaster, Wong Yuk-man. It has not been a small investment for the party. The clock itself cost more than $100,000 to make, while more than four years' rent was paid in advance. 'The landlord doesn't know we are putting a countdown clock there,' Mr To said. 'But we've signed a contract already and the clock will be there until July 1, 2007.' Mr To confirmed that the decision on the clock's site had been motivated by a desire to have it visible to marchers in today's rally. 'It's sort of an encouragement for them,' he said. Meanwhile, 12 democrats who have been on a partial hunger strike for 100 hours, including party chairman Yeung Sum, Albert Ho Chun-yan and Lee Wing-tat, said they would join the mass demonstration - on wheelchairs. 'So far we are feeling okay,' said Dr Yeung. He said doctors had advised the hunger-strikers not to exert themselves too much and to drink plenty of water. 'I should not move too much, but I had to chair a Legco panel meeting [yesterday afternoon]. I had to go because the meeting couldn't be cancelled just because I was on a hunger strike,' he said. But Dr Yeung said he was glad of the overwhelming support given by the public. 'We are very impressed by the support we've got so far. Many people brought us water, flowers, fruits and chicken essence. Even though we are not supposed to eat anything, we appreciate it very much,' he said.