Pro-Beijing sociologist Lau Siu-kai said a recent survey by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, which showed that 73 percent of the respondents wanted the Occupy campaign to end as soon as possible, was not at all surprising since the strategies adopted by the protesters have been wrong from the start, Ming Pao Daily reported on Wednesday.
Prof. Lau, deputy chairman of the National Research Council of Hong Kong and Macao and former head of the government think tank Central Policy Unit, said even the pan-democrats want the street occupation to end soon as they fear being dragged down by its political consequences and its impact on the upcoming elections.
If the saga continues, voices against the protest would only grow louder, especially now that restraining orders have been issued by the courts, Lau said.
He said the campaign has adopted bad strategies, as it does not make sense to blackmail the central government by inflicting pain on the Hong Kong people.
Lau admitted, however, that Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s administration does not have the capability nor authority to clear the sites by force at the moment.
Prof. Ma Ngok of the Chinese University of Hong Kong said the survey results don’t necessarily mean that those who want the students to retreat don’t support the pro-democracy campaign.
He said the protest leaders must decide what they should do if the government continues to refuse to grant their demands. There is a need to resolve the political standoff, he said.
A retiree surnamed Cheung, who has been staying at the Admiralty protest site over the past 20 days, has launched a signature campaign calling for a 30-day ultimatum for the government to agree to permanently open the Civic Square to the public, abolish the functional constituencies in the 2016 Legislative Council election, and introduce public nomination for the 2017 chief executive election.
Cheung, who has now collected 210 signatures, said protesters could consider returning home if the government complies with the first two requests, according to the newspaper.
But many protesters said they will only end the protest if the government agrees to let the public nominate the chief executive candidates, the report said.
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