News / Asia

Hong Kong Voters Demand Election Reform in Unofficial Poll

People line up at a polling center to vote in an unofficial referendum on democratic reform in Hong Kong, June 22, 2014.
People line up at a polling center to vote in an unofficial referendum on democratic reform in Hong Kong, June 22, 2014.
Da Hai Han
An unofficial pro-democracy referendum in Hong Kong has been extended through next Sunday, with nearly 720,000 people voting in the past three days to change how city leadership is elected.

The Occupy Central movement, which favors open elections rather than the current Beijing-driven narrow list of candidates, organized the vote to pressure government action.

Benny Tai Yiu-ting, an Occupy Central organizer, said a 21 percent voter turnout through the first weekend of the referendum demands government attention.

"They have clearly indicated their view that they deeply want true democracy for Hong Kong. I would say, any responsible government cannot ignore or undervalue their views, and must seriously consider their views when the government starts to work on its own proposal on the chief executive election method," he said.

A 1,200-member committee of mostly pro-Beijing elites currently chooses Hong Kong’s leadership. Beijing has said Hong Kong can choose its representatives starting in 2017, but rejects the idea of the publicly-nominated candidates.

Occupy Central included three election options in its referendum, which was available in person and online.

In an editorial on Monday, China's state-run Global Post newspaper called the referendum an "illegal farce." Some mainland Chinese readers took to the web to object, with one comment from Hunan province noting, "1.3 billion Chinese cannot even decide our fate by ourselves, but want to decide Hong Kongers' fate. How ridiculous."

VOA observed many posts on the issue had been deleted on China's Weibo micro-blogging platform.

Hong Kong activists are threatening  to shut down the city's central business district with a massive, Occupy Wall Street-style sit-in, if demands for reform are not taken seriously.

Zhou Yongkang, the secretary-general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, told VOA’s Mandarin Service Monday the date of any civil disobedience is undetermined.

"We won’t give a date. We are saying we will occupy central [business district] if the government denies the public’s will," Zhou said. "We are watching for the government’s response."

Polling is expected to continue through June 29.

There are approximately 3.5 million registered voters in Hong Kong.

Yibing Feng contributed to this report from Washington.
This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Mandarin service.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
June 24, 2014 11:09 AM
HK is part of China, there is nothing wrong that the general congress nominates CEO candidates! Chinese do vote their congress delegates! The general congress is the representative of 1.3 billion Chinese!


by: meanbill from: USA
June 23, 2014 8:38 PM
SINCE Tiananmen Square, China learned that the "Peoples Liberation Army" that Mao promised wouldn't be used against the people, (and most the (PLA) avoided doing so), and that almost brought down the whole Chinese communist government, and since then, China has purged many in the (PLA) and cut the (PLA) forces, and greatly expanded the police with Special Forces Training, to handle any and all, political responses... China may not like the publicity, but those arrested won't like their imprisonment, or disappearances, either.... Chinese protesters beware?


by: So So from: US
June 23, 2014 7:29 PM
Wow! 5 more days to go.

In Response

by: So So
June 26, 2014 11:53 AM
2 more days

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid