Beijing's restriction on 2017 chief executive election candidates brews disappointment and discontent

Beijing's restriction on 2017 chief executive election candidates brews disappointment and discontent

faceoff.jpg

Face off: Police and protesters come face-to-face over a metal barricade before pepper spray is used.
Face off: Police and protesters come face-to-face over a metal barricade before pepper spray is used.
Photo: Felix Wong/SCMP

Pro-democracy activists stormed past security staff at AsiaWorld-Expo on Monday. At the time, Li Fei, deputy secretary general of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, was explaining that Beijing’s strict restrictions the city’s 2017 chief executive election released on Sunday.

Police used pepper-spray to disperse the activists.

Alex Chow, the head of the Federation of Students, was escorted out of AsiaWorld-Expo jeering and heckling.

He said students from 11 colleges and universities will rally outside government headquarters in Admiralty during their strike later this month, and urged Hongkongers to stick together to bring democracy to the city.

Chow accepts the strike will not change Beijing’s mind immediately, but said it could inspire more Hongkongers to come forward and call for a democratic system for the 2017 chief executive election.

Scholarism’s Joshua Wong Chi-fung said he was disappointed by the restrictive framework for the election set out by Beijing on Sunday.

Joshua said the plan was even less democratic than proposals put forward by the pro-Beijing camp in Hong Kong and “moderates”.

“We’re disappointed but we do not feel hopeless. The framework is not even close to what the academics and the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong have proposed,” he told RTHK.

The framework, approved unanimously by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, allows only two or three candidates to run. They will need approval from a majority of a 1,200-strong nominating committee.

Occupy Central leaders said they would begin a series of protests that would result in 10,000 people blocking the streets in the heart of the city.

Joshua said it would be more difficult to organise strikes among secondary school students, but he hopes hundreds will take part.

 

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