Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Less than half the Hong Kong population supports the electoral reform presented by the local government but "inspired" by Beijing. A survey conducted by three universities in the Territory shows that only 47% of respondents agree with the proposal, while 38% are contrary: the remaining 16% are undecided. In any case, the numbers are far from the support "of 60% of the electorate" claimed by executive secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet -ngor, who recently presented the reform to the Legislative Council.
The draft proposal for electoral reform presented today by the Hong Kong government is the same as the one presented in August 2014 by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress in Beijing. In reality, the Chinese central government wants to vet the challengers for the position of Chief Executive Officer and "grant" the Territory the opportunity to choose between two or three candidates screened by an election committee made up of members close to China.
When the latter was announced, tens of thousands of people joined the ‘Occupy Central with Peace and Love,’ movement, which had been peacefully challenging the government for months, demanding real democratic reforms.
The survey was conducted by the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University and the Polytechnic University. With a margin of error of 1.6 percentage points, it is considered "very reliable". According to demographic analysis, young people and those with a high level of education showed a "strong preference" to veto the reform. Alan Leong Kah-kit, leader of the Civic Party and a leading exponent of the democratic movement, said these numbers "show that we have the support necessary to block reform" before it becomes law.
Moreover, popular discontent against the local government is mounting. The same Carrie Lam was embarrassed during a public meeting that was held yesterday in Cheun Sha Wan: organized by the Federation of Trade Unions (loyal to Beijing), it was a publicity stunt to show the electorate’s support for the executive. Instead, the first man who stood up to ask a question said: "I want a real universal suffrage for Hong Kong." In addition, Lam has accused of failing to keep the promises expressed when she was Secretary for development.
The organizers closed the microphone on the man who was then removed, while the Secretary remained silent. The second intervention was entrusted to another participant, accompanied by an Federation official who whispered: "Say you support reform for the 2017 elections".