Thousands march in Hong Kong in protest over leader
Tuesday 01 January 2013
Thousands of people marched in Hong Kong on the first day of 2013 to call for the city's Beijing-backed leader to step down over allegations he was untruthful about illegal renovations at his mansion.
Police say 17,000 people gathered at the start of the march. Organizers say 130,000 took part.
They carried banners and chanted slogans urging the leader, Leung Chun-ying, to resign. Some held signs depicting Leung as Pinocchio or as a wolf with fangs. Many waved Hong Kong's British colonial-era flag.
In the evening, several hundred members of a small radical group briefly blocked roads after they were stopped by authorities from marching to Leung's official government residence. At one point, protesters pushed and shoved with police.
The protest comes half a year after Leung took office after being chosen by a 1,193-member committee of mostly pro-Beijing elites. Leung won the job of Hong Kong's leader, known as the chief executive, after a scandal over a huge, illegal basement brought down his rival.
But illegal structures were later discovered at Leung's house, prompting lawmakers to accuse him of lying and calling for his impeachment. Demonstrators are using the controversy to push for full democracy for the former British colony, which is now a semiautonomous region of China.
Leung's popularity has plunged since he took office because of the scandal over his house and other controversies.
Leung "is not honest. As chief executive, he cannot convince the public that he is a leader with credibility," said Sandy Chung, a clerk. "I don't want Hong Kong to be led by a person without credibility."
Another protester, designer Calvin Tse, said he was upset that he didn't have a say in choosing the city's leader.
"We don't even have a vote, he is elected by a small group of people. We cannot use our voting right to express our view no matter how his performance is," Tse said.
Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997 and granted Western-style civil liberties not seen on mainland China. Beijing has pledged that Hong Kong's leader can be directly elected by 2017. Full democracy for the legislature, where some representatives are chosen by business groups, is promised for 2020.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Tommy Ramone dies: Last surviving founder and drummer seminal punk band The Ramones dies aged 62
Gaza-Israel conflict: The terrible price Palestinian children are paying for Israel’s war with Hamas
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...
£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...