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Hong Kong's leader says China's rules to prevail in 2017 election

Published on Jul 17, 2014 8:38 PM

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong's leader told Beijing on Tuesday that the city's residents wanted a full election in 2017, but said the financial hub would have to abide by the restrictive framework set down by China's Communist authorities.

Chief Executive Leung Chun Ying offered no firm proposal, but said the contest would be run according to the "Basic Law", or mini-constitution, that has governed Hong Kong since Britain returned it to Chinese rule in 1997, rather than international standards.

That document stipulates that candidates for the position of chief executive must be approved in advance by a "broadly representative" special committee. The city's pro-democracy opposition fears it will be shut out of the poll.

Mr Leung said the principle of universal suffrage in the 2017 poll "will be an important milestone of the democratic development of Hong Kong's political system, with significant real impact and historic meaning". "The Hong Kong community is generally eager to see the implementation of universal suffrage for the...election in 2017," he said in his report to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC), China's parliament.

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