Hong Kong democracy poll closes with nearly 800,000 votes

By AFP

The chief executive is currently selected by a 1,200-strong pro-Beijing committee. "Every Chinese should have the right to vote," a 90-year-old voter, who only gave his surname as Fu, told AFP as he waited for a polling station to open in the Tsim Sha Tsui district Sunday morning. "Although people can't do it in China, we can do it in Hong Kong.

Chen Wei-ting, a key figure in an unprecedented student-led protest occupation of Taiwan's parliament earlier this year, said he was immediately taken away and questioned by officials upon arrival at Hong Kong airport Sunday afternoon. "They told me I could not enter Hong Kong due to 'political factors'," Chen told AFP, adding that he was questioned for about an hour before being sent back to Taiwan.

Chief pollster Robert Chung said 787,000 had participated in the informal referendum, which has angered Beijing. "Nearly 800,000 people peacefully expressed their views, no matter who they favour," Chung told reporters late on Sunday, with the final turnout far surpassing organisers' initial expectations.

Polls in an unofficial vote on electoral reform in Hong Kong closed on Sunday with almost 800,000 taking part, organisers said, days before an expected major protest seeking greater democracy for the southern Chinese city.

Fears over interference by Beijing were exacerbated earlier this month when China issued its first ever "white paper" policy document on Hong Kong, in what was widely seen as a warning to the city not to overstep the boundaries of its autonomy.

Read more here: Business Spectator

    

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