Date
18 August 2017
Occupy Central is calling for members of the public to show up in 'Umbrella Square' to vote in the referendum on Sunday. Photo: AFP
Occupy Central is calling for members of the public to show up in 'Umbrella Square' to vote in the referendum on Sunday. Photo: AFP

Referendum to be held on Sunday at Admiralty protest site

Leaders of Occupy Central, the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) and Scholarism said they will hold a referendum on Sunday at the Admiralty protest site, now commonly referred to as “Umbrella Square”, Apple Daily reported Friday.

Two motions will be put up for voting. One is to request the political reform committee to be set up by the government to agree to handle reform for elections in and before 2017. The other is to make the report on public opinions on political reform a constitutional document that could alter the August 31 decision by the National People’s Congress.

Occupy Central is calling for members of the public to show up in Admiralty and join in the voting.

The movement’s co-founder, Benny Tai, said the referendum is scheduled to be held between 8pm and 11pm on Sunday. It is working with the Public Opinion Programme of the University of Hong Kong to adopt the same voting system used in a referendum held on June 22.

Voters would only need their Hong Kong Identity Card and mobile number to cast their vote. The results will be published the same night and given to the government.

Tai said they are fighting for democracy in a democratic way.

HKFS secretary-general Alex Chow Wing-hong said the government must not avoid touching on the 2016 legislative council election and the 2017 chief executive election if it wants to show people its sincerity in implementing political reform.

The voting exercise on Sunday is an effective way to let the public voice their requests and pile pressure on the government, he said.

Scholarism leader Joshua Wong said the HKFS’ meeting with government officials on Tuesday has given them the lead for the “first half”, even beating the referees. Now it is time to help Hong Kong “score in the second half” of the match by joining in the voting on Sunday.

It is understood that the voting is still a preliminary decision with technical issues still to be resolved, the Hong Kong Economic Times reported.

The HKFS has yet to reach a consensus with other pan-democrats on the voting and its mechanism.

Pan-democrat elements have raised doubts on how to prevent voting by anti-Occupy Central protesters.

The HKFS said it will put forward the detailed motions on Friday. Whether the voting can also be held simultaneously in Causeway Bay and Mong Kok will depend on manpower and technical resources.

In response, the government said it will pay attention to the details of the referendum. The government is concerned about whether voters would be given the option to support its proposal or be limited to the HKFS’ counter proposal, as well as how a person would be defined as eligible to vote.

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