Hundreds of protesters have gathered outside Hong Kong’s Legislative Council building as the government is set to present a ‘controversial’ electoral reform package ahead of a crucial vote later this week.
Security around the building has been beefed up, with at least 200 officers stationed inside and another 1,000 deployed outside, as a crowd comprising pro-democracy and pro-Beijing supporters raised slogans and waved banners, reported the BBC.
The package will give the citizens the right to vote for its chief executive for the first time but it also requires the candidates to be vetted by a pro-Beijing committee. The proposal had touched off massive protests in September last year that lasted for several months.
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy lawmakers have warned that they will veto any reform package that fell short of ‘genuine democracy.’ If that happens, the proposal is unlikely to get the two-thirds majority it needs to pass.
Meanwhile, Song Ru’an, a Chinese foreign ministry official in Hong Kong, has cautioned that if the pan-democrats stubbornly insisted on blocking the electoral reforms, democracy in Hong Kong will come to a standstill.