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Hong Kong lawmakers reject Beijing-backed election strategy

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AP Photo/Kin Cheung

Pro-democracy protesters form words “Turn down” on the ground outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, Thursday, June 18, 2015. An argument by Hong Kong legislators over Beijing-backed election reforms extended into a 2nd day Thursday, as the southern Chinese city braced for a vote on the questionable proposals that sparked big street protests last year.

Released Wednesday, June 17, 2015|10:02 p.m.

Upgraded 3 hours, Thirty Minutes ago

HONG KONG– The Hong Kong government’s questionable Beijing-backed election blueprint was defeated in the legislature Thursday however the essential vote came to a confusing anticlimax as pro-establishment lawmakers walked out just before it began.

After a lengthy debate stretching over two days, 28 lawmakers voted against the proposals, which sparked huge street protests in the southern Chinese city in 2014.

Eight others enacted favor.

Nevertheless, in a strange scene moments prior to the vote, the majority of the pro-establishment legislators went out of the legislature chamber and wound up not casting their votes.

Lawmaker Jeffrey Lam later on blamed a “communication gap,” explaining that they were waiting for a fellow lawmaker who was ill to return to the chamber. They left even after their request for a 15-minute break was declined by the legislature president.

The government required a minimum of 47 of the 70 lawmakers to vote in favor of the proposals.

“If you take a look at their farcical habits, you can’t assist however feel very sorry for Hong Kong that we remain in the hands of such individuals,” pro-democracy legislator Emily Lau said after the vote.

The government had actually suggested allowing voters to elect the southern Chinese financial center’s leading leader beginning in 2017, however acquiesced Beijing’s demand that candidates by evaluated by a panel of elites, which pro-democracy leaders branded “phony democracy.”

Beijing has promised to eventually grant universal suffrage to the city, an unique management region of China, however the defeat raises the possibilities of a political stalemate for many years to come.

A previous British nest, Hong Kong keeps its own legal and financial system and civil liberties such as liberty of speech not seen on the mainland. The city has seen its most tumultuous year because Beijing took control in 1997, with tens of countless people requiring to the streets last autumn to protest the main government’s election screening requirement.

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam told legislators prior to the vote that she was “unfortunate and disappointed” knowing that the proposal would be beat.

“I don’t know when democratization can be taken forward,” she stated. Hong Kong and Beijing officials have stated that in the event of a loss, leaders would continue to be handpicked by the panel of regional elites.

Pro-democracy leaders swore to continue defending authentic democracy.

“Today is not the end of the democracy activity,” stated legislator Alan Leong. “Fairly the contrary, this is the starting point of another wave of democratic movement.”