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Hong Kong notables pick Beijing loyalist amid protests

Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 02:09

Mar. 25 - An election committee in Hong Kong picks Beijing loyalist Leung Chun-ying as next leader. Michaela Cabrera reports.

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Leung Chun-ying is Hong Kong's new leader. The Beijing loyalist was chosen by an election committee with about 1100 voters. The results were met with much dismay, with many alleging that the polls were controlled by Beijing. A survey conducted a day before elections showed that neither of the two main candidates had majority support. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LIBERAL PARTY CHAIRPERSON, MIRIAM LAU, SAYING: "The result of this election does not reflect the sentiments of the people." Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy and freedom, but Beijing's Communist Party leaders have resisted calls for full democracy. Hong Kong's population of 7 million have no say in who becomes their chief executive. Instead, a committee comprised of business professionals, tycoons and Beijing loyalists select the city's leader. Leung was voted with 689 votes. His rival got 285. Leung said he made efforts to reach various sectors of society, to make the elections representative. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF EXECUTIVE ELECT, LEUNG CHUNG-YING, SAYING: "To the people that are shouting and protesting outside, yes they do have a vote, they do have a voice. Yes they are part of Hong Kong. (flash) I've done as a candidate everything I can, as a candidate under this system to make sure I'm accountable not just to a 1200-strong election committee, but to everyone in Hong Kong." The results did not satisfy the hundreds of protesters who camped overnight outside the election venue. This protester was saying the political system is 'ridiculous'. Analysts say Leung may find it difficult to gather support and enact his policies, as frustrations among Hong Kongers have accumulated over the years. Michaela Cabrera, Reuters.

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Hong Kong notables pick Beijing loyalist amid protests

Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 02:09