The chief executive of Hong Kong on Monday dismissed protesters’ demand to allow the public to directly nominate candidates for the city’s top post as unacceptable because it would allow poor people to dominate elections.
“If it’s entirely a numbers game and numeric representation, then obviously you’d be talking to the half of the people in Hong Kong who earn less than US$1,800 a month,” Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said in a joint interview with the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and the Financial Times.
Students and activists have demonstrated in Hong Kong for more than three weeks now in what’s been dubbed the “umbrella revolution.” The pro-democracy protesters are opposed to Beijing’s plan to appoint a committee that will select candidates for the city’s first-ever elections for chief executive in 2017.
Hong Kong officials and student leaders were expected to hold talks Tuesday aimed at ending the protests. Chun-ying was not scheduled to attend, but he told the Associated Press that there was room to hash out how to form the nominating committee with the student leaders.