Albert Ho to resign from Legco to trigger de facto referendum

January 09, 2015 17:45

Democratic Party lawmaker Albert Ho Chun-yan announced Friday his decision to quit the Legislative Council to trigger a "de facto referendum" on political reform in Hong Kong, Ming Pao Daily reported.

Ho said he will resign as a “super district councilor” after vetoing the government's political reform package in LegCo in the middle of the year.

That would trigger a by-election, which he said would be a de facto referendum on political reform.

“Super district councilors” are members of a special functional constituency elected by almost the entire electorate.

“The fight for democracy in the city has been so difficult, and local residents are furious about the collusion between the government and giant businessmen,” Ho said.

He blasted Beijing’s Aug. 31 framework for the 2017 election for chief executive as “breaking faith” with Hongkongers and said the Democratic Party will “firmly” oppose the political reform package.

The idea of a resignation had been floated by members of the party.

Three of the party's legislators accepted Ho's plan to resign, and its executive committee approved it Thursday night.

Ho said he hopes to cement public support through his resignation and spark a by-election to pressure the government to resume political reform beyond the restrictive framework laid down by Beijing for the 2017 election.

Civic Party lawmaker Ronny Tong Ka-wah said he was “shocked” to hear about Ho’s plan and was unaware of it despite having attended three meetings of pan-democrats in the past week. Tong said the move may not work.

Neo Democrat lawmaker Gary Fan Kwok-wai said Ho’s stunt is aimed at wooing voters for the Democratic Party in the district council elections this year.

“However, any political party should not put their benefits above the broader goal of universal suffrage,” Fan said.

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Freelance journalist