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People's Daily Online>>China Politics

Leung wins Hong Kong election by wide margin (2)

By Zhao Qian and Miranda Shek (Global Times)

08:48, March 26, 2012

"Hong Kong is going through a tough period as the election campaign revealed a lot of corruption suspicion toward the current chief executive and Henry Tang," Yip said. "Leung needs to rebuild the public confidence in Hong Kong's governance."

Tang's popularity was dealt a huge blow after he admitted to building a basement under his villa without government permits. Local media also reported that he did not pay his real estate taxes.

Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, the current chief executive, is under investigation by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). He is the first chief executive to be suspected of corruption during his tenure.

About 2,000 people protested outside the election site Sunday, according to Reuters.

Eric Lai, spokesman for the Civil Human Rights Front, which organized the protest, said they did not want a selective committee to choose Hong Kong's leader for them, and they needed universal suffrage.

But Ji Shuoming, a senior commentator of Asiaweek based in Hong Kong, told the Global Times that "the relatively lower votes for Leung could also be ascribed to more candidates this time than previous elections."

Ji noted that the number of election committee members expanding from the previous 800 to the current 1,200, as well as more candidates being allowed to stand, all paved the way for universal suffrage in 2017.

The central government has said universal suffrage can start from the election of the Hong Kong chief executive in 2017 and for the legislature in 2020.

Zhang said that Hong Kong residents have the right to express different opinions, but they did not realize that universal suffrage has already been approved by the central government, and the SAR is now gradually moving toward the ultimate aim of universal suffrage.

"On Hong Kong's constitutional development, both the central and local governments are fully committed to promoting constitutional development in accordance with the Basic Law, with a view to achieving the ultimate aim of universal suffrage," a spokesman of the SAR government said in November.

"The SAR government has made it clear that the future universal suffrage models should comply with the Basic Law and the principles of universality and equality. The community has sufficient time to reach a consensus on issues relating to the implementation of universal suffrage in future," the spokesman said, according to Xinhua News Agency.

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