China moves to limit Hong Kong election could stir protests
Published on Aug 27, 2014 10:50 PM
HONG KONG (REUTERS) - China moved on Wednesday to limit 2017 elections for Hong Kong's leader to a handful of candidates loyal to Beijing, local media reported, a move likely to escalate plans by pro-democracy activists to blockade the city's Central business district.
Hong Kong, which returned to Chinese rule from British colonial administration in 1997, has been deeply polarised and hit by protests over how its next leader is chosen in 2017 - by universal suffrage, as the democrats would like, or from a list of pro-Beijing candidates.
The decision to allow only two to three candidates to run in the 2017 election and not to allow open nominations was carried in a draft resolution published during a National People's Congress (NPC) - China's parliament - meeting in Beijing, Hong Kong's RTHK radio reported, citing an unnamed source.
While the document said Beijing still backed a direct election for Hong Kong in 2017, it would insist that all candidates needed to first get majority backing from a small nomination committee stacked with Beijing loyalists.
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