Beijing: China Legislature Rules No Open Nominations for Hong Kong LeaderPosted: August 31, 2014
Occupy Central has threatened to shut down the city’s financial district with a massive sit-in if Beijing doesn’t allow completely open elections for chief executive
BEIJING (AP) — China’s legislature on Sunday ruled against allowing open nominations in elections for Hong Kong’s chief executive, a decision that promises to ignite political tensions in the Asian financial hub.
Left: Jimmy Lai, Chairman and Founder of Next Media (Reuters)
The legislature’s powerful Standing Committee ruled that all candidates for chief executive must receive more than half
of votes from a special nominating body before going before voters. Hong Kong democracy activists have held massive protests demanding that Chinese leaders let the city’s voters choose their chief executive from an open list of candidates.
Activists have also decried the nominating committee held up by Beijing as beholden to Chinese leaders and were mobilizing to stage massive protests against the decision.
“Since the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and the sovereignty, security and development interests of the country are at stake, there is a need to proceed in a prudent and steady manner,” the Standing Committee said in their decision.
Hong Kong has enjoyed substantial political autonomy since returning from British to Chinese rule in 1997. Chinese leaders had agreed then that the chief executive would be chosen by “universal suffrage” in 2017, language pro-democracy activists say shows Beijing hasn’t kept its promises.
Already, activists in Hong Kong were laying out their next steps after the expected decision, with the most high-profile group, called Occupy Central, calling for a Sunday night rally in the city’s center…(read more)