In response to the DAB’s decision to boycott the upcoming by-elections, the Convenor of the 5 District Referendum Movement, the Hon Audrey Eu, has made the following statement:
1. The purpose of the territory wide 5 district referendum movement is to enable the public to have a real and direct say in the critical issue of “implement real universal suffrage and abolish functional constituencies without delay”. The government is pretending to consult the public on the way forward for democratic reform but is refusing to let the public have a say on this critical issue of whether functional constituency seats will eventually be abolished and this lies at the heart of whether the proposal put forward by the government and the increase of functional constituency seats are actually leading to or going away from real universal suffrage.
2. We are not surprised to learn of announcement by DAB that they will boycott the by-election for the referendum movement. Like the government, they are afraid of allowing the public to have a real and direct say in this consultation. They hope that by refusing to take part, they will depress the voter turn out rate.
3. We call on Hong Kong people not to be off guard. We expect criticisms and attacks to continue to come our way and we have no doubt there will be other contestants some of whom may well be supported by those who now say they boycott the referendum movement. Hence we see no need to change our earlier target of a 50% turn out rate at this stage.
4. Without the open participation of the pro establishment forces, the nature of the referendum is even clearer as a vote on the issue. We call on all those who support real universal suffrage not to miss this unprecedented opportunity to make their voice heard through the ballot box.