China said Hong Kong’s civil referendum on electoral reform is illegal and unconstitutional, state news agency Xinhua reported Friday, citing an official spokesman.
The central government issued the warning as more than 180,000 people voted as at 4:30 pm on the first day of the mock exercise despite intermittent breakdowns in the online platform blamed on hacker attacks, according to Ming Pao Daily.
The referendum is open to permanent residents above 18 years old. Online voting continues Saturday and physical balloting is scheduled for Sunday in 15 polling stations and June 23-29 in some of them.
Participants can vote on the popvote.hk website or download mobile apps. The website was designed by the University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
A spokesman for the Hong Kong government said the referendum has no legal effect and no basis in law.
– Contact us at [email protected]