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Veteran Hong Kong democracy advocate Martin Lee to quit politics

Veteran Hong Kong democracy advocate Martin Lee to quit politics

Veteran lawmaker Martin Lee, hailed the "father of Hong Kong democracy" by supporters but branded a "traitor" by Beijing, will retire from politics, the chairman of his political party said.
"He's already worked in the legislature for 23 years, and he just turned 70 this year," Democratic Party Chairman Albert Ho said in an interview with Hong Kong broadcaster Cable TV aired Friday. "He thinks it's the appropriate time to quit."
Hong Kong's best known democracy advocate, Lee has campaigned for direct elections for all political offices for years and served as the founding chairman of the Democratic Party from 1994 to 2002.
His lobbying efforts abroad, especially in Washington, have outraged China, which has labeled him a "traitor" to the country.
A former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997, Hong Kong has never enjoyed full democracy under either ruler, although it enjoys Western-style civil liberties like freedom of press and protest.
Beijing ruled last year Hong Kong can elect its own leader in 2017 and all of its legislators sometime after that, possibly 2020 at the earliest.
Lee was quoted as saying in Hong Kong's Ming Pao Daily News newspaper Friday that his biggest regret was not seeing full democracy during his political career.


Updated : 2021-10-22 18:25 GMT+08:00