Hong Kong goes to the polls amid China tensions
HONG KONG (AFP) - Hong Kong goes to the polls on Sunday to elect a new legislature that will lay the ground rules for direct elections, amid growing disquiet over mainland China's hold over the former British colony.
The vote is taking place against a steady drumbeat of anti-government protests, fueled by resentment over what many see as the ruling elite cosying up to Beijing at the expense of Hong Kong's cherished democratic freedoms.
The Legislative Council's next four-year term will set the stage for one-person, one-vote leadership elections in 2017, when Beijing has promised universal suffrage in the territory for the first time.
In 2020 it has promised to extend that to elections for the legislature, indicating it will do away with a complicated voting system which ensures pro-Beijing parties and candidates dominate the city's government.