Date
20 August 2017
Leaders of student and pro-democracy groups apologize after saying the vote on political reform is a hasty decision and has been shelved. Photo: HKEJ
Leaders of student and pro-democracy groups apologize after saying the vote on political reform is a hasty decision and has been shelved. Photo: HKEJ

Democracy activists apologize over cancellation of reform poll

Student and pan-democrat activists have apologized over the cancellation of a planned vote on political reform.

Benny Tai, a co-founder of Occupy Central, said that the decision to hold a poll was flawed and too hasty.

Alex Chow, secretary general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, admitted they were wrong on this but believed the morale of the protesters should not be affected

The poll, scheduled for Sunday and Monday nights, was shelved hours before it started after discussion among the groups behind the street occupation, including Scholarism, Ming Pao Daily reported Monday. 

The decision was made after protest organizers on site visits learned about objections to the vote, a source was quoted as saying. Cancellation was deemed better than forcing the poll through which may jeopardize the possibility of more talks with the government.

Some protesters said there was no prior consultation while others said voting would be meaningless because they had made known their stance through the street occupation.

The poll originally aimed to ask occupiers to express their opinions on two issues: whether the government report submitted to Beijing can change the decision on the framework of the 2017 chief executive election and whether the public engagement platform proposed by the government should be limited to only the post-2017 election arrangement.

However, the two motions were later worded in stronger terms: “the government must propose to Beijing to revoke its framework decision” and “the platform must be moved ahead to include 2016 and 2017 political reform”.

Asked if an opinion poll would be launched in the future, Tai said no more major decisions on that would be made without sufficient communication with the occupiers. He called on citizens to actively participate in discussions over the future direction of the Occupy protest.

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TL/AC/JL

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