Beijing won't change political reform package: survey

July 08, 2015 12:59
Seven out of 10 Hong Kong people believe the central government will not change its decision on the 2017 chief executive election. Photo: Bloomberg

Seven out of 10 Hong Kong people believe the central government will not change its political reform framework for the 2017 chief executive election, according to a survey conducted by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies.

Although the Hong Kong government's "one man, one vote" proposal was vetoed in the Legislative Council in June, 50 percent of the survey respondents said there is only a dim chance the National People’s Congress Standing Committee will retract its decision on electoral reform, while 23.8 percent said the chance is zero, Ming Pao Daily reported on Wednesday.

The survey was conducted by the HKIAPS under the Chinese University of Hong Kong, in which 760 people were interviewed by phone from June 24 to 26.

Asked when political reform should be relaunched, 45.5 percent of the respondents said it should be left to the next administration while 42.8 percent said it should be done by the incumbent government.

Civic Party leader Alan Leong Kah-kit said he could relate to the people’s sense of powerlessness since the political reform proposal had just been voted down by legislators.

He said Hong Kong citizens should not sell themselves short, even though Beijing is unwilling to change its Aug. 31, 2014 decision.

The survey also found that 59.6 percent of the respondents agreed that the government should put political reform aside and re-focus on economic and livelihood issues over the next three years, compared with 15.2 percent who did not agree and 23.2 percent who said political reform and economic issues are not mutually exclusive.

It also said 46.4 percent are not optimistic about the political situation in Hong Kong over the next three years, far more than the 12.4 percent who said they are.

A separate survey conducted by the Public Opinion Programme (POP) of the University of Hong Kong said 60 percent of the respondents consider livelihood issues as more important than the economy and politics, with the level of concern about economic problems down to the lowest in the past 10 years.

The HKU survey, involving 1,037 respondents, was conducted from June 29 to July 2.

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