26 August 2019
Shih Wing-ching (foreground) says the survey results show people in the middle ground are starting to share pro-establishment views.  Photo: HKEJ
Shih Wing-ching (foreground) says the survey results show people in the middle ground are starting to share pro-establishment views. Photo: HKEJ

Pan-democrats harden stance on election reform

A growing number of pan-democrats will reject universal suffrage if the nomination procedure for Hong Kong’s next leader does not meet their expectations, according to a new survey.

About 46.6 percent of respondents who identified themselves as pan-democrats will oppose a one-man, one-vote proposal if they are not satisfied with the final nomination model.

The figure is up 11.6 percentage points from a similar survey two months ago, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Friday.

The survey was conducted by the Concern Group for Public Opinion on Constitutional Reform between July 21 and 27.

It polled 1,017 respondents by phone on proposed electoral reform that sets out the nomination and voting procedures for the 2017 chief executive election.

Pro-democracy groups want public nomination and universal suffrage but pro-establishment factions are backing Beijing’s proposal for screening by a nominating committee along patriotic lines and election by one-man, one-vote. 

The National People’s Congress, China’s parliament, is expected to announce a final election model during its annual session this month.  

More than half of the respondents will accept universal suffrage even with an imperfect nominating scheme while 36 percent will only have it both ways, according to the survey.   

Nearly 30 percent of so-called “middle-ground” respondents, or those not aligned with any political group, said public nomination is against the law against more than 50 percent who said it is not.

About 20 percent of the non-aligned respondents said they would blame the pan-democrats if the proposed political reform did not succeed, up 6 percentage points from two months earlier.

Overall, nearly seven in 10 prefer negotiation to confrontation in resolving political differences over the proposal.

“While the pan-democrats are getting tougher and are ready to reject an unsatisfactory reform package, there’s a sign those in the middle ground are starting to share pro-establishment views,” said Shih Wing-ching, a member of the Concern Group for Public Opinion on Constitutional Reform.

Democratic Party vice chairman Tik Chi-yuen said the results showed Hong Kong people are getting polarized. 

Meanwhile, moderate pro-establishment leaders including Legislative Council President Jasper Tsang and Andrew Fung have launched a signature campaign to get Hong Kong people to accept a compromise reform package, Sing Tao Daily reported.

Among the early signers were Democratic Party member Law Chi-kwong, University of Hong Kong academic Eric Cheung, executive councilor Bernard Chan and former financial secretary Antony Leung.

– Contact us at [email protected]


EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe