Pan-democratic lawmakers still debating whether to resign

Pan-democratic lawmakers still debating whether to resign

Their resignation might trigger a referendum revealing public opinion on Occupy Central, but the party might lose its veto power

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Is democracy within reach for the protesters?
Is democracy within reach for the protesters?
Photo: Reuters

Pan-democratic lawmakers are continuing their discussion on whether to resign from the legislature. Their resignation would trigger by-elections that would serve as a form of referendum to gain public views on reform. They dismissed Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor's comments that such an idea was "unrealistic", had no legal binding force and would cost more than HK$100 million.

With Alliance for Peace and Democracy spokesman Robert Chow Yung saying it had collected more than 1.5 million signatures against the Occupy protests, student leaders believe a referendum or vote will reflect true public opinion.

Scholarism spokesperson Oscar Lai Man-lok said in a discussion forum in the Admiralty Occupy area on Sunday that a vote can give the movement direction.

Dr Chan Kin-man, an Occupy organiser, admitted the movement was facing a dilemma.

The by-elections could extend the pro-democracy movement, he said, but it would also be a risky move.

"It's too dangerous to have pan-democratic legislators resigning," he said. "The pan-democrat camp would lose its veto power and the government could do many things in this 'window period'."

Sin Chung-kai, a Democratic Party lawmaker, questioned the purpose of triggering by-elections because the pan-democratic camp had already decided to veto the political reform proposal. "Even if we succeed in voting pro-democratic councillors back into the Legislative Council, what's the point?" said Sammi Lau Sam-yee, a Form Six student from the Po Leung Kuk Centenary Li Shiu Chung Memorial College. "It's no use to achieving our goal for universal suffrage."

Labour Party's Legco member Lee Cheuk-yan said in a radio programme yesterday he hopes the camp can come to a decision in two weeks.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Pan-democrats considering resigning

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