Hong Kong leaders ask pro-democracy demonstrators to leave peacefully

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Hong Kong leaders ask pro-democracy demonstrators to leave peacefully

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As riot police withdrew from the streets of Hong Kong on Monday lunchtime, weary protesters slept on roads and sheltered from the sun under umbrellas after a night of demonstrations.

Protesters are angry because Beijing refuses to allow fully democratic elections in three years.

Voters will have to choose the next leader from a list candidates pre-approved by Beijing.

The current Hong Kong Chief Executive, Leung Chun-ying, said: “I urge the people blocking the roads to leave peacefully as quickly as possible, so as not to affect the traffic and everyday life of the community. I also urge the organisers of Occupy Central, for the benefit of society, to stop their occupation.”

It’s some of the worst unrest in Hong Kong since China took back control of the former British colony.

Chan Kin-man, one of the organisers of Occupy Central movement explained: “Many people chanted slogans, ‘we want true democracy, we want true universal suffrage’. And this is exactly the objective of our movement, and we are very happy to see what happened today.”

Organisers say as many as eighty thousand protesters defied volleys of tear gas and police baton charges in the centre of the global financial hub at the weekend.

Some analysts say it is one of the biggest challenges for Beijing since the Tiananmen Square crackdown 25 years ago.