Asia-Pacific

Hong Kong protesters scrap planned vote

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Leaders of anti-election law demonstrators in Hong Kong have called off a planned vote on government concessions regarding their month-long protest movement.

In a statement, released on Sunday, the leaders said they decided not to go ahead with the vote, citing inadequate consultation with the protesters and “differing opinions regarding the format, motions and effectiveness” of the poll.

The two-day referendum was canceled just hours before it was expected to take place electronically on Sunday.

The vote was supposed to ask demonstrators how they want to respond to the government’s proposals to end persistent sit-ins that have paralyzed parts of the city.

Benny Tai, a founder of the Occupy Central protest group, said, “We decided to adjourn the vote at the square but it doesn’t mean the movement has stopped.”
During talks on Tuesday, Hong Kong government officials made concessions, suggesting that both sides set up a committee to discuss political reform and offering to provide Beijing with a report on recent events.

Protesters launched a campaign of occupying government buildings in Hong Kong on September 27, 2014. Police and protesters have clashed on many occasions over the past month.

The anti-election law protesters are opposed to an election law introduced by China. Under the law, the people of Hong Kong will have to elect their next leader from a list of Beijing-vetted candidates in 2017.

Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China. The financial hub has enjoyed substantial political autonomy since 1997, when its leadership returned to China after about a century of British colonial rule.

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