Hong Kong Candidates in Scandals Ahead of Election

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Sunday is election day in Hong Kong. An electoral commission will choose the next Chief Executive of the Special Administrative Region of China. However the two main candidates have been hit by scandals. Here's more.

Just two days before the election of Hong Kong's Chief Executive and the two front runners in the race are plagued by corruption scandals. The scandal has some Hong Kong residents demanding a fresh set of candidates. Rumors are also circulating that Beijing has changed its preferred candidate.

The Hong Kong Chief Executive is not elected directly by the people, but by a 1200-member election committee. The committee is made up of business leaders and special interest groups, many of whom are loyal to the Chinese regime.

There is suspicion Beijing has switched its preferred winner from Henry Tang, who has been marred by a construction scandal and accusations of extra marital affairs, to Chun-ying Leung. Leung is also facing allegations of corruption in relation to another construction project and the handling of his election campaign.

Hong Kong University professor Willy Lam says the controversy highlights further calls for full democracy from Hong Kong citizens.

[Willy Lam, HK University Professor]:
"I think there is a positive element coming out of this and the fact that most people do not seem to be happy with either of the two candidates. So I think now that there is a strong feeling among the public. Even the ordinary passive, apathetic Hong Kong people, that they should fight harder for a real one person, one vote election in 2012. So I think the pressure will be on Beijing to really grant Hong Kong the pace of democracy which Hong Kong deserves."

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