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Hong Kong to cut elected council seats in blow to democracy


Associated Press

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong’s leader has unveiled plans to eliminate most directly elected seats on local district councils, the last major political representative bodies chosen by the public. The planned electoral changes are widely seen as part of Beijing’s increasing control over the former British colony, which was promised autonomy when it returned to China in 1997. Chief Executive John Lee says the overhaul will reduce the proportion of directly elected seats in the municipal-level organization to about 20% from some 90% currently. Two years ago, Hong Kong already amended its electoral laws for its legislature, drastically reducing the public’s ability to vote and increasing the number of pro-Beijing lawmakers making decisions for the city.

Article Topic Follows: AP National

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