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Hong Kong Legislature Holds Vote on Democratic Proposals

  • VOA News

Legislative Councillers vote on a political reform package in Hong Kong on June 24, 2010. Hong Kong lawmakers approved a plan to broaden the electoral base for the city's leader, stopping well short of one person, one vote for the Chinese territory's seve

Hong Kong lawmakers have passed the first part of a package of electoral reforms that has split the territory's pro-democracy forces.

The proposal agreed to Thursday would expand the committee that chooses the Chinese territory's chief executive from 800 to 1,200.

The measure passed after a group of moderates in the pro-democracy Democratic Party agreed to a concession that would allow 10 new legislative seats to be filled by direct election. An earlier proposal called for five seats to be filled by election, with the other five chosen by Hong Kong's so-called "functional constituencies" such as doctors and lawyers.

The compromise angered hardline pro-democracy lawmakers, who are demanding universal suffrage for the former British territory.