Occupy Central is set to launch civil disobedience in Hong Kong as soon as the National People’s Congress (NPC) approves an election reform package that fails to meet its expectations, Ming Pao Daily reported Thursday.
China’s legislature is expected to announce its decision in the last week of August during its annual session.
Preparations are under way to launch the movement, which is expected to include a blockade of Hong Kong’s main business and financial district, the report said, citing Occupy Central convenor Chan Kin-man.
Chan said there is no room for discussion between the opposing camps once the NPC decision is announced.
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Federation of Students is encouraging students to skip class during the protest action which it expects to take place in early September, secretary general Alex Chow was quoted as saying.
Occupy Central and other pro-democracy groups are demanding public nomination of candidates for the 2017 chief executive election and universal suffrage.
Beijing will go along with universal suffrage but prefers screening of candidates by a nominating committee, a scheme backed by the Hong Kong government and pro-establishment groups.
The central government will not allow candidates who advocate for the end of one-party rule in the mainland and will ensure Hong Kong’s new leader poses no political risk, Cheng Yiu-tong, a Hong Kong representative to the NPC, was quoted as saying by Apple Daily.
Elsie Leung, deputy director of the Basic Law Committee, said candidate screening cannot be avoided because it is part of the process of choosing worthy aspirants to Hong Kong’s highest office.
Hong Kong government sources said there is room for improvement in the electoral reform process if people accept universal suffrage now despite its imperfections.
Otherwise, Hong Kong will have to wait until 2022 to achieve some of the goals of political reform and until 2027 to have universal suffrage, they said.
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