PolyU crisis resolution offers window of opportunity for DC race

November 20, 2019 16:02
A protester arranges clothes to spell "SOS" inside the Polytechnic University campus on Tuesday. The peaceful resolution of the PolyU crisis will hopefully pave the way for the smooth conduct of elections this Sunday. Photo: Reuters

Over the past few days, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) had been gripped in terror as hundreds of student protesters were trapped inside the campus amid the intense police siege.

Fortunately, a number of public figures, including former Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing and PolyU Council chairman Lam Tai-fai, together with a delegation of secondary school principals, sought to defuse the crisis and prevent bloodshed by conducting negotiations with police and the protesters.

The entire episode has been largely resolved peacefully, although the campus now lies in ruins after days of intense clashes. 

In the wake of the incident, we have noticed that some netizens have been urging protesters to call a truce in order to allow for the peaceful and orderly conduct of the District Council elections this Sunday.

Some netizens even called on protesters to ditch their black outfits on election day in order to avoid giving any impression associated with violence.

While nobody can tell whether protesters will heed such calls, one thing is clear: not too many people in our city want to see the elections either postponed or canceled.

As we have always said, political issues must be resolved through political means.

We believe all members of society, regardless of their political stance, should treasure this opportunity and eagerly cast their votes on Nov. 24 in order to allow our existing political system to function properly and effectively.

After all, the DC election is the only political channel we have at this point through which public grievances can be addressed.

In our view, the peaceful resolution of the PolyU crisis has provided a timely window of opportunity for the DC race to take place as scheduled, so that the people of Hong Kong can join forces in seeking a political solution to the crisis through their votes.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Nov 20

Translation by Alan Lee

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Hong Kong Economic Journal