Joseph Wong Wing-ping advocates de facto referendum

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp

Former senior government official, Joseph Wong Wing-ping, told Harbour Times that a de facto referendum initiated through the resignation of a LegCo “Super Seat” member, will allow students to consider a retreat from current occupy areas.


Former senior government official, Joseph Wong Wing-ping, told Harbour Times that a de facto referendum triggered through the resignation of a LegCo “Super Seat” member, will allow students to consider a retreat from current occupy areas. As for the proposal suggesting the Government should take initiative to hold a referendum that is not legally binding, Wong called it “unrealistic.” He believes it is impossible for the Government to hold a referendum, not only because there are no referendum laws in Hong Kong, but also because the Government would never “open a gap”, giving precedent to resolving political problems with a referendum, neither will the Government concede any chances of losing.

Wong pointed out that a citizen-initiated referendum would face a lot of problems. In addition to it being costly, the location and security would require detailed planning that would take a long time. However, if a “Super Seat” member resigns from LegCo, triggering a de facto referendum through a by-election, the Government will be responsible for the work. He explained that only one member of the LegCo District Council Second constituency, aka ‘Super Seat’, will need to resign to initiate this.

HKFS has publicly proposed a de facto referendum, through resignation and subsequent LegCo by-elections, to let voters vote on whether they support the retreat of the NPCSC political reform framework. Pan-democratic legislator Frederick Fung Kin-kee, who also occupies one of the “super seats”, said that the HKFS had yet to discuss the proposal with the pan-dems. Instead of conveying the message through the media, Frederick hopes that the related dialogue can be conducted on the “Quartet platform”, meaning the two student bodies, the Occupy Central leaders, the pan-dem legislators, and civilian organisations. He said the ADPL and Scholarism discussed the five constituencies referendum at the beginning of the year, but a number of issues still needed resolving. Commenting on Wong’s proposal, Mr Fung said that about 250,000 functional constituency voters would be excluded from the vote, rendering the referendum incomplete.

At the moment, there are about 3 million registered voters for the District Council (second) Functional Constituency, the Super Seats, and around 230,000 voters for the rest of the FC seats. According to the Voter Registration website, the 230,000 voters will need to change their registration to become an elector for the super seats, and thus take part in any by-elections. Registered electors for the Heung Yee Kuk FC, Agriculture and Fisheries FC, Insurance FC, Transport FC and District Council (first) FC cannot do so.