Bloomberg Thousands of people joined a march in Hong Kong to demand that lawmakers reject a China-backed plan for the city’s first direct chief executive election amid growing public opposition to the bill. by Natasha Khan and Alfred Liu
'The protesters rallied at the city’s Victoria Park at 3 p.m. Sunday
before starting a march that drew as many as 3,140 people as it made its
way toward the government headquarters, the police estimated. The
number fell short of the 50,000 predicted last week by Daisy Chan, a
convener of the Civil Human Rights Front. Chan didn’t answer two calls
to her mobile phone.
'While the rally failed to attract the kind of crowds that occupied
streets of the Asian financial capital for almost three months last
year, polls indicate public opposition to the plan has been growing as
lawmakers prepare to vote on the measure this week. Chief Executive
Leung Chun-ying needs four pro-democracy legislators to support the bill
to secure passage of China’s plan, which mandates that candidates for
the first election of the chief executive in 2017 be selected by a
committee of the city’s elites, rather than voters.
'“There was some discrepancy from what we had expected” in terms of
numbers, Sam Yip, one of the protesters, told reporters after the march.
“We believe it was due to the twist in the recent poll. People believe
the pan-democrats would definitely vote down the government’s proposal.”'