Date
20 August 2017
Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters stand their ground in Mong Kok district. The protest movement entered its fourth week as Tuesday's planned talks moved closer. Photo: AFP
Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters stand their ground in Mong Kok district. The protest movement entered its fourth week as Tuesday's planned talks moved closer. Photo: AFP

Seven in 10 protesters pessimistic about govt concessions

Seven in 10 protesters are pessimistic about government concessions in Tuesday’s talks, Ming Pao Daily reported Monday, citing its own survey.

The survey polled 285 respondents on Thursday and Friday last week.

Nearly 70 percent said they are “pessimistic” or “very pessimistic” about a favorable outcome compared with just over 5 percent who said they are optimistic.

More than 75 percent agreed the protest movement, which entered its fourth week Monday, should be expanded into civil disobedience, strikes and occupation of more areas.

Asked to choose from a list of potential concessions that might bring the protest to an end, nearly seven in 10 answered Beijing’s backdown on the 2017 chief executive election framework while less than half picked a relaunch of public consultations on political reform.

About 43.9 percent chose a more democratic nomination committee while 24.6 percent said they prefer the resignation of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.

Clement So, an associate professor of journalism in the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the top two choices might be hard to realize but a democratic nomination committee would be relatively realistic and feasible.

Both sides should strive for a breakthrough but it depends on the attitude of the government, he said.

More than half of the respondents said the movement should have a leader or leaders but 75 percent agreed with its the leaderless status.

Two in 10 accept the leadership of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, student group Scholarism and the three founders of the Occupy Central against a quarter who do not.

Chung Kim-wah, an assistant professor from Polytechnic University, said the survey showed a divided opinion but also reflected the fact that movement needs leaders to sustain it.

He said such leaders should firmly establish themselves so they can unite the protesters.

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