On Thursday Hong Kong’s legislature vetoed a China backed electoral reform package criticised by pro-democracy activists and law makers as undemocratic.
The reforms were to give all residents the right to vote, but all of the candidates would have to be Beijing approved to get onto the ballot, which pro-democracy activists have called ‘fake democracy’.
The vote came earlier than expected, with only 37 of the 70 members of the Legislative Council present. Of these, 28 legislators voted against the blueprint and eight voted in favour, while one did not cast a vote. Pro-Beijing law makers walked out of the chamber moments before the vote took place.
“Today 28 legco members voted against the wishes of the majority of Hong Kong people, and denied them the democratic right to elect the chief executive in the next election,” said the city’s current pro-Beijing leader Leung Chun-ying.
“Universal suffrage for the chief executive election has now been blocked. Universal suffrage to elect all members of legco has also become uncertain. I, the government and millions of Hong Kong people are disappointed.”
China have said that despite the vote the changes are legal and would remain in force.
Last year the announcement about this decision resulted in demonstrations that drew more than 100,000 people onto the streets and brought parts of the city to a standstill for weeks.
By Fiona Carty