Hong Kong will unveil its long-awaited political reform proposals on Wednesday (Apr 22). The proposals, if passed in parliament, will allow Hongkongers to pick their own leader for the first time in 2017.
Pan-democratic lawmakers, however, have vowed to veto the bill, because of concerns it will only allow candidates pre-screened by Beijing to run for election.
There will be no surprises when Hong Kong's number two Carrie Lam announces the government's political reform proposals. They will stick closely to the guidelines of last year's Aug 31 decision by the National People's Congress Standing Committee.
Candidates hoping to run need to secure 120 votes, which is 10 percent of the votes from the Nominating Committee, made up mostly of Beijing stalwarts.
Candidates then go through a second round of voting by the nominating committee. Here, a majority vote of at least 600 is needed for up to a maximum of three candidates to get through to the next stage.
After that, the public of more than five million eligible voters get to have their say on who will lead the city in 2017.
What has been described as "Chinese-style democracy" by some, has the democratic camp in the city crying foul.
Last year, pro-democracy activists paralysed parts of the city by conducting more than 2-1/2 month-long street occupation that ended in December.
Ronny Tong Ka-Wah, a legislator from the Civic Party, said: "No matter how you play around with the initial hurdle or the procedure of the nominating committee, the crux of the matter is there is no possible hope of anyone, with a different political inclination other than the pro-Beijing parties, would get past the majority nomination requirement.
"The pan-democrats at most, at any point in time, can muster about 200 nominations - that's far, far short of getting 600 nominations."
Ronny Tong is one of the moderates in the pan-democratic camp, and has been vilified from within for even suggesting forming a think tank to look for a way out of the deep political division.
"One country, two systems itself is a compromise. And it's being built on the foundation of that there has be to be some minimal trust and confidence existing between Beijing and Hong Kong, and if that confidence is gone, and at the moment the relationship has deteriorated to an unprecedented low," he said.
Mr Tong and 26 other pan-democrats have promised to veto the Bill when it reaches the Legislative Council.
A two-thirds majority in a parliament of 70 is needed - which means the government needs four democrats to change their minds.
Chief Executive Leung Chun-Ying recently expressed his confidence that reform proposals would win public support and would eventually be passed.
Dr Willy Lam from the Chinese University of Hong Kong said: "We have various indications, including the suddenly very optimistic remarks made by CY Leung and some of his secretaries, that the chances of the Bill passing has suddenly risen. Of course, they need at least four swing votes from the pan-democratic camp, so it's an uphill battle.
"But we also have to remember that Beijing has immense political resources in Hong Kong, and I think it's a fact that the top leadership under Xi Jinping has indicated they will pull-out all the stops to have the Bill passed."
Both sides of the political spectrum are keeping their cards close to their chests for the time being, awaiting public reaction to the proposals.
The stakes are high because if the Electoral Reform Bill gets shot down in LegCo, the 2017 Chief Executive elections will revert back to the status quo of a close circle election of 1,200 members.