Hong Kong Referendum Voting for Democracy Closes
BBC – Votes are being counted in Hong Kong after an unofficial referendum on universal suffrage in the Chinese territory.
The 10-day poll was held by protest group Occupy Central, which says almost 800,000 voted online or in person.
A Hong Kong government spokesman has said the vote has no legal standing.
Campaigners want the former British colony to be able to elect its leader, or the chief executive. China has pledged direct elections by 2017.
However, the public will only have a choice of candidates selected by a nominating committee, and China’s communist authorities have said all candidates must be “patriotic”.
In the referendum, voters had the choice of three proposals – all of which involved allowing citizens to directly nominate Hong Kong’s chief executive – to present to the Beijing government.
Preliminary results suggest that the biggest number of votes has gone to a proposal to allow the public, political parties and a nominating committee to shortlist candidates.
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