Date
19 January 2017
Leaders of the Alliance for Peace and Democracy said the signature campaign will make it less embarrassing for pan-democrats to change their minds and support the government's political reform package. Photo: CNSA
Leaders of the Alliance for Peace and Democracy said the signature campaign will make it less embarrassing for pan-democrats to change their minds and support the government's political reform package. Photo: CNSA

Group plans signature drive to support political reform plan

The pro-Beijing Alliance for Peace and Democracy is launching a signature campaign to put pressure on pan-democrat lawmakers who have pledged to veto the government’s political reform package, Ming Pao Daily reported on Wednesday.

The alliance, which figured in a similar campaign against last year’s Occupy civil disobedience movement, wants to show that the majority of Hong Kong people support the government proposal, in which a 1,200-member nominating committee will select the candidates for the 2017 chief executive election.

It initially aims to collect more than 800,000 signatures.

From Saturday, the group will set up 400 stations across the city on weekdays and 800 during weekends until May 17 to gather the signatures.

Unlike its campaign last year, alliance workers will no longer examine the identity cards of signatories, although only qualified voters, or those 18 years old and above, can participate.

Asked about the credibility of the campaign, alliance spokesman Robert Chow said that based on the group’s experience in the anti-Occupy signature drive last year, most people only signed once.

Chow warned that voters will punish lawmakers who persist in opposing the government’s “one man, one vote” proposal, which is based on the Aug. 31, 2014 decision of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee.

Stanley Ng Chau-pei, another spokesman for the alliance, said the signature campaign would make it less embarrassing for the pan-democrats to change their minds and support the government proposal if the results showed that most of the people are for the passage of the plan.

Reacting to the signature campaign, Civic Party leader Alan Leong Kah-kit said Hong Kong people will settle for nothing less than genuine universal suffrage.

Meanwhile, Daisy Chan, convenor of Civil Human Rights Front, said her group will work with other pro-democracy groups to stage a mass action outside the Legislative Council to watch a live broadcast of the vote on the government political reform proposal.

Details of the activity will be ironed out by mid-May, Chan said.

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TL/AC/CG

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