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HONG KONG (XIANGGANG), January 01, 18:16 /ITAR-TASS/. Thousands of opposition supporters marched in the centre of Hong Kong on Wednesday, January 1, to demand democratisation of the electoral system in the former British enclave, which now has the status of Special Administrative Region of China.
Its chief executive is appointed by a special electoral college that is loyal to Beijing. Local politically active people oppose this system and call for direct general elections from 2017.
China’s central government has promised to allow such elections in Hong Kong but made it clear that only a limited number of candidates from among the “genuine patriots of China” - democratic-minded activists are certainly not among them -- will be entitled to run for the position.
Many residents of Hong Kong are displeased with the Chinese government’s influence on the internal affairs of the region which will enjoy broad autonomy and democratic freedoms until 2047.
“We want our voice to be taken into account because the form of democracy proposed by Beijing is unacceptable and false,” one of the activists told ITAR-TASS.
Some of the demonstrators carried posters demanding resignation of Hong Kong’s incumbent chief executive Liang Zhenying, who came to power in July 2012 with Beijing’s support but has so far not won popularity among people.