Hong Kong Unveils Election Plan

Hong Kong Unveils Election PlanHong Kong Unveils Election Plan

Hong Kong’s plans for election reform were unveiled to lawmakers on Wednesday by the city’s deputy leader, Carrie Lam. The announcement prompted an immediate response from some opposition lawmakers, who left the chamber as the announcement was being read.

The proposal, which affects Hong Kong’s first-ever vote for the city’s top leader, would see all five million eligible voters able to select from up to three candidates in the 2017 poll. These three candidates would be selected by a panel of 1,200 people that enjoy the favor of the Chinese government, AFP reported.

The Beijing-vetted panel has been a serious point of contention for those calling for Hong Kong to take steps toward increased democracy.

When China announced how it planned to select members of the panel in August, it sparked a wave of street protests in Hong Kong that brought the city to a standstill at times and was only ended when police forced out the last of the protesters in a crackdown in December.

During Wednesday’s announcement, Lam stated that the decision was in “strict compliance” with Hong Kong’s constitution and China’s decision on the matter. She also said that the election reforms “fully take into account the view expressed by various sectors of the community.”