China rules out open nominations in selection of Hong Kong leader
HONG KONG (REUTERS) - Beijing's top representative in Hong Kong has ruled out open nominations for candidates to become its next leader, the strongest sign yet that China's pledge of democracy for the former British colony by 2017 comes with conditions.
Mr Zhang Xiaoming, the head of Beijing's Liaison Office in Hong Kong, said open nominations for the chief executive would not be allowed.
His open letter, sent to a major pro-democracy group, the Civic Party, quoted the city's mini-constitution, the Basic Law, as saying that all candidates could only be nominated by a"broadly representative nominating committee".
"There is no other option," Mr Zhang said in the letter.