(Hong Kong) – More than 700,000 ballots have been cast in an unofficial poll regarding the electoral reform of Hong Kong arranged by activists and declared illegitimate by China.
In 1997, the city returned to the Chinese rule, and since then, a pro-Beijing commission has been selecting the leader of Hong Kong. China promises some sort of right to vote universally for the next election of the chief executive in 2017 on the condition that the candidates must be scrutinized. The poll, which started on June 20, and will run till June 29, proposes three chief executive election plans for the voters to choose from, all having a popular vote.
A 53 year old architect, who only provided his surname, Ng, said, “I voted because I want the people of Hong Kong to be heard.” On Friday, after voting online, he said, “Just because they don’t want to give me a voice doesn’t mean I shouldn’t express my opinions.”
The referendum has been organized on the behalf of Occupy Central with Love and Peace (OCLP), a group that said that it will organize a sit-in protest in the financial district of the city, if the electoral reforms do not meet its demands.
On Friday, the city district government issued a statement which said that a civil referendum “does not exist in the Basic Law nor in Hong Kong’s domestic legislation, and has no legal effect.” The Basic law is basically the de-facto constitution of the city.