Pro-democracy groups marched through Hong Kong yesterday to protest an upcoming leadership election that they say is not democratic enough.
Chanting "One man, one vote to choose chief executive," demonstrators led by pro-democracy lawmakers began strolling from Victoria Park to the government headquarters in the Central district.
They said the leadership race is an election for the chosen few, because most people cannot take part in it.
Organizers estimated a turnout of 2,000 people, but stressed the call for full democracy should not be judged by the size of the turnout.
Hong Kong's chief executive is chosen by an 800-seat election committee, scheduled to meet next Sunday to choose the next leader for a five-year term. The panel is widely expected to support the incumbent, Chief Executive Donald Tsang (
Pro-democracy Lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan (李卓人) said the fight for universal suffrage will continue until Hong Kong achieves full democracy.
"We must continue to walk the path toward democracy. We must stand firm until the end, until we win victory," Lee said.
Among the demonstrators was 20-year old student Iris Ip, who said Hong Kong was yet to be a truly democratic society.
Another demonstrator, Ronnie Choi, said he felt Tsang has been evading the fight for democracy in Hong Kong. Choi said he would like to see more candidates running for the top job.
"With universal suffrage, one can be held accountable to the public," the 45-year-old clerk said.
Tsang's single challenger in the leadership race, Lawmaker Alan Leong (梁家傑 ), has said he hopes Hong Kongers will be allowed to directly elect their leader five years from now. He has accused Tsang of dragging his feet on an issue that should be easily addressed.