Hong Kong to vote amid discontent over China influence
HONG KONG (REUTERS) - Tens of thousands of people protested in Hong Kong on Friday ahead of a citywide election, posing a major test for the city's new leader as voter discontent fuelled by anger over perceived Chinese meddling threatens to reshape the political landscape.
This time round, Hong Kong's legislature will have a more democratic flavour - it has been expanded from 60 to 70 seats, with just over half of them to be directly elected on Sunday.
But the results are likely to reflect a recent upsurge in anti-China sentiment, which has been exacerbated by a plan for a school curriculum extolling the achievements of the Chinese Communist Party.
Thousands of people have demonstrated outside government headquarters for the past week demanding the school programme be scrapped, forcing Mr Leung Chun-ying to cancel what was to have been his first major international engagement as Hong Kong's leader at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Russia.