Date
15 December 2017
Pan-democrat legislators and student leaders have discussed the de-facto referendum proposal, but failed to reach a consensus. Photo: HKEJ
Pan-democrat legislators and student leaders have discussed the de-facto referendum proposal, but failed to reach a consensus. Photo: HKEJ

Pan-democrats say de-facto referendum not feasible

A proposal for pan-democrat legislators to resign en masse to trigger by-elections that will serve as a de-facto referendum on political reform is unfeasible as none of the leaders is likely to step forward and call on the protesters to end their street occupation, Apple Daily reported Wednesday.

The criticism came after Occupy Central co-founder Chan Kin-man said that since it is unlikely for Beijing to retract its decision on the framework for 2017 chief executive election, street occupiers should turn their protest into a long-term democratic movement.

He suggested that they accept a de-facto referendum as a condition for their retreat or at least focus their occupation on the area close to the government headquarters and the Legislative Council.

However, several pan-democrats said they had already made the same proposal to the Hong Kong Federation of Students and Scholarism, the two student groups leading the street occupation, but were told that they would not abandon their campaign even if a de-facto referendum was triggered by the legislators’ mass resignation.

The legislators said the idea had been discussed in a meeting attended by representatives from all the pro-democracy groups but no consensus was reached as no one wanted to be the “bad guy” to call on the protesters to go home. In fact, most of protesters are prepared to get arrested, they said.

Civic Party legislator Alan Leong said the key issue will still be the attitude of the student groups, even if the pan-democrats are willing to resign for the by-elections.

Democratic Party legislator Sin Chung-kai said resignation is worthwhile only if it cause the street occupiers to retreat.

Leung Kwok-hung of the League of Social Democrats said his group will discuss at the end of the month whether they will let him resign in a bid to trigger by-elections.

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TL/AC/CG

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