A senior academic is challenging government claims that more than 60 percent of Hong Kong people favor a Beijing-backed electoral reform proposal.
Dr. Chung Kim-wah, director of the Center for Social Policy Studies of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, said most public opinion polls have shown about 30-40 percent of people are firmly against the idea.
That suggests there may not be as many people who support the proposal as claimed, Chung said.
Chung questioned the effectiveness of the government’s public relations campaign, saying slogans such as “take it first” and “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” are not enough.
The highest affirmative rating for the proposal was 40 percent which came in a recent survey by the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the report said.
There has not been any affirmative rating above 60 percent, it said.
An internal government poll conducted earlier this year showed a 57 percent approval rating for the proposal but did not give the research method, according to media reports.
Chung said the government cannot simply assume that pro-democracy lawmakers will change their stance and support the plan based on its own poll.
Meanwhile, Civic Party leader Alan Leong said most Hong Kong people have made up their minds and a big swing in public opinion is unlikely before the proposal comes up before the Legislative Council.
Under a framework endorsed by China’s legislature, candidates for chief executive in 2017 need to get the support of at least half of the members of a selection panel to qualify for election by universal suffrage.
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