Discord in Hong Kong’s pan-democratic camp regarding the way forward for the city’s electoral reform has caused concern among political observers and the local media, with some critics warning that the disunity will only give an opportunity to Beijing to put off any meaningful changes.
Differences have come into the open after the Occupy Central movement chose three proposals for a civil referendum next month on the electoral process for the 2017 Chief Executive election.
Some democrats complained that the proposals are inadequate, and that there should have been a wider choice in the political blueprints.
Among the three plans is a proposal for public nomination of the chief executive candidates, an issue that has generated much debate.
Apple Daily warned in a commentary Thursday that “if camps are splitting before the movement is carried out, the political reform will be easily be taken over by the Beijing government and universal suffrage in 2017 is unlikely to be possible”.
The Tuesday poll result, which supports the establishment of a popular nomination for the chief executive candidates, was manipulated by some political radicals, who will use it as an excuse to trigger an uncontrollable and non-peaceful Occupy Central movement, Ming Pao Daily said. Such outcome will allow the pro-Beijing camp to attack the Occupy Central movement organizers, it said.
Questions will arise over the organizers as to their capability to lead the movement. The Ming Pao commentary said the movement could be taken over by radical elements in the end.
It also said the poll on Tuesday, which chose the three proposals to be put forward to a referendum on June 22, has not made the democratic parties more united.
A pro-Beijing camp has criticized the Tuesday poll as a “small group” voting exercise because it only involved 2,500 local citizens. This was ironic because the democrats are the ones who don’t want any limits in voting. In the end, they voted some proposals out, putting forth just three blueprints.
If Beijing gets the perception that most Hong Kong people are going radical, the political environment in the city might even get worse, Ming Pao warned.
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