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Archive for Thursday, October 20, 2005

Political reforms fall short of full democracy

October 20, 2005

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— Hong Kong's government proposed political reforms Wednesday that fell far short of full democracy, but called for expanding the legislature and adding more people to a committee that picks the Chinese territory's leader.

The highly anticipated blueprint for change wasn't expected to give Hong Kong voters freedom to elect their next leader and the entire legislature. Beijing has ruled out universal suffrage in the near future.

But many pro-democracy lawmakers were hoping the proposed changes would give the public greater say in who runs the former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang acknowledged that everyone wanted full democracy, but told reporters there still wasn't consensus about how and when to achieve it.

"These proposals will lead us to the ultimate goal of universal suffrage," Tsang said about the changes suggested Wednesday. "I hope everyone will give them their full support."

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