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HK govt opens five-month debate on full democracy

Published on Dec 4, 2013 7:54 PM
Hong Kong Chief Secretary Carrie Lam answers questions in a press conference on Dec 4, 2013 about elections of the city's chief executive in 2017 and the legislative council in 2016. -- PHOTO: XINHUA

HONG KONG (AFP) - The Hong Kong government on Wednesday opened a long-awaited public consultation on ways to elect the city's future leader, amid growing fears increased intervention by China will prevent genuine political reform.

China, which took over Hong Kong in 1997, has promised that the former British colony will be able to elect its leader by universal suffrage in 2017.

Under the current system, the chief executive is elected by a pro-Beijing committee.

"Political reform is a very important landmark in the development of our political system," said current leader Leung Chun Ying as he launched the five-month consultation.

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