World Bulletin/News Desk
More than eight in 10 Hong Kong residents want the pro-democracy protests to end, a new poll has shown.
The University of Hong Kong survey found 82.9 percent of respondents called for the occupation of three sites across the territory to end.
Within that group, 40.4 percent would like to see the occupations to end and the protesters to change their tactics; 31.2 per cent believe the student-led protests should never have been staged in the first place; and 11.3 percent think the demonstrators have achieved their goals.
Dr Ma Ngok, a political scientist at Chinese University, told the South China Morning Post that a lack of clear objectives had alienated some early supporters.
He said: “Many occupiers joined in the hope of protecting students. Student leaders find it difficult to withdraw from protest zones because they believe they owe a moral responsibility to those occupiers. The students think they shouldn't abandon the occupiers lightly.”
Of the 513 respondents questioned by the university's public opinion program on Monday and Tuesday, before protesters stormed the Legislative Council building early Wednesday, 13.1 percent supported the continuation of the protests - 2.4 percent calling for an escalation; 6.5 percent for maintaining the current level; and 4.2 percent for reducing the scale.
A poll on Monday showed 67.4 percent calling for activists to give up the occupation.
The demonstrations are the largest the former British colony has seen since China resumed sovereignty over the territory in 1997.
The protesters' main demand is that Beijing makes the 2017 chief executive election open to all candidates. The central government, backed by the Hong Kong executive, has plans for candidates to be screened by a committee.
Meanwhile, a court will decide on Friday whether to hear a protester’s challenge to an injunction authorizing the clearance of barricades in Mong Kok, public broadcaster RTHK reported.
The order was granted to a minibus company, which says its business has been affected by the blockades. The protester argues the company cannot identify any direct losses as a result of the protest.
On Tuesday bailiffs acting on a court order cleared part of the occupation site at Admiralty.
The protests, in their eighth week, are seen as the biggest challenge to Beijing's grip over the semi-autonomous territory.
Last Mod: 20 Kasım 2014, 16:13