Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang said Thursday he will seek another term _ a five-year period that will likely bring growing pressure for full democracy in the Chinese territory.
Tsang was widely expected to coast to victory because the leader, or chief executive, would be chosen by an 800-member election committee loyal to Beijing. Chinese leaders have been pleased with Tsang, and his public approval ratings have been high amid an economic upturn in Hong Kong.
Standing in front of a massive sign that said, "I'll get the job done," Tsang said in a televised news conference, "I announce with solemnity that I have decided to run."
The announcement came a day after pro-democracy lawmaker Alan Leong said he would make history by becoming the first politician on the ballot to challenge a Beijing-backed candidate.
Leong, 48, has argued that Hong Kong is ready for full democracy, but Beijing continues to be reluctant to allow the city's voters to directly elect their leader, or chief executive. Leong advocates universal suffrage for both chief executive and Legislative Council elections in 2012.
Hong Kong is governed under a "one country, two systems" principle designed to give the territory a wide degree of autonomy.
Source: AP News