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Hong Kong opposition protests constitutional interpretation

[JURIST] Opposition members in Hong Kong's legislature expressed outrage Monday at the weekend announcement [JURIST report] that the elected successor to Tung Chee-Hwa, Hong Kong's former executive who resigned last Thursday [JURIST report], would only serve the remainder of Tung's term instead of a full five years. The decision, announced by Acting Chief Executive Donald Tsang [official profile], himself the candidate favored by mainland China, is based on an interpretation of the Basic Law [text], the mini-constitution put in place upon Hong Kong's reversion to Chinese control in 1997. Opposition candidates are leary of launching a legal challenge however, as the only authority over the Basic Law is China's parliament. The last two challenges to interpretations of the Basic Law resulted in the Chinese legislature imposing amendments viewed as anti-democratic. Beijing is allegedly pressuring other potential candidates not to run against Tsang, but oppostion lawmakers said Monday that they would do everything they could to ensure that the election was a contested runoff between at least two candidates. Channel NewsAsia has more.

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