HK assembly hand picked

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The Independent Online
Elections Chinese-style made their debut in Hong Kong yesterday, when a hand-picked committee selected 36 people to represent the ex- colony in China's parliament.

Members of Hong Kong's most popular party, the Democratic Party, failed to jump the first hurdle of getting 10 nominations from the 424 electors.

Allen Lee, leader of the Liberal Party, is likely to be the only critical voice. "If I have something to say, I will say it," he pledged. Mr Lee got far fewer votes than Jiang Enzhu, the head of the New China News Agency. Mr Jiang only arrived in Hong Kong three months ago, and is not eligible to stand in elections because seven years residence is required.

However, this did not seem to bother the electors, largely composed of long-time supporters of Peking.

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