07/06/2007, 00.00
HONG KONG – CHINA
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Hong Kong democracy fades to beyond 2012

Donald Tsang, chief executive, yesterday said that it was “very likely” that the deadline for universal suffrage would be not be met. Cardinal Zen expressed his disappointment while democrats labeled Tsang as an arrogant man who has sold his soul to Beijing.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, chief executive of the Territory, yesterday expressed “serious doubts” about the likelihood of introducing universal suffrage in Hong Kong before 2012, because “it is probable that the Legislative Council will not reach the consensus necessary” for the new electoral model.

Tsang made this statement during his first question-and-answer session this term with lawmakers of the Territory. The session was called in view of the publication of a green paper what will outline the government’s plan of progress towards universal suffrage. Publication is due next week.

During the debate, the chief executive called on democrats to “calm down” and asked an independent candidate to “smile more”. Democratic parties believe his statements “show the true nature of Tsang: an arrogant dictator, who once he has grabbed the consensus of Beijing, wants to show the master all his loyalty.”

The bishop of Hong Kong, Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, addressed the matter yesterday. During a press conference, the cardinal said he would be “very sorry” if the document failed to contain “concrete steps worthy of trust” towards universal suffrage.

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