Lawmaker Chu Hoi-dick on Sunday called on fellow legislators from the pro-democracy camp to boycott the extended session of the Legislative Council, and fight for an election that he said truly reflects the will of the Hong Kong people.
Speaking on RTHK's Letter to Hong Kong programme, Chu said he understood why some lawmakers were reluctant to leave. But he said polls showed the majority of their supporters wanted a boycott, and this aligned with international calls for this year's election to go ahead.
And he said looking at the situation from a wider perspective, it was apparent that the Chinese Communist Party, or CCP, needs the pan-democrats to stay more than the Hong Kong people.
Chu said according to the recent speeches of the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the promise made by the CCP to develop democracy and uphold freedom in Hong Kong is in fact the litmus test of whether China itself can be truly modernised and be accepted as a responsible partner in world politics.
He said the aspiration that China itself will one day take the path of freedom and democracy was also the reason why Hong Kong people had been believing in a gradual approach to democratisation and had tolerated the semi-democratic system for more than 20 years.
Chu described the cancellation of the September election as an act of "self-rescue", saying the CCP wants to buy time and avoid the worst-case scenario. To lure the democratic legislators into accepting this one-year appointment, he said, is the essential element of this soft-landing approach.
He said different public opinion polls show the majority of democracy supporters think to accept the CCP invitation to stay on in Legco will send a wrong signal to the world that the people of Hong Kong are giving up. On the contrary, to boycott the illegal interim legislature synchronises with the international world in its demand for an immediate resumption of the election.
Chu claimed things have reached the point of no return. He said the comparatively harmonious time between Hong Kong and the mainland before 2014 is long gone, and in the future the people of Hong Kong either fight and be defeated or be defeated without a fight.
And that, he said, is why he calls on democratic legislators to boycott the one-year legislature.