>> Voices of dissent in Hong Kong squashed by order of Beijing. Sources telling Reuters that China's Communist Party is working behind the scenes of the city's local elections trying to protect its own interests and grab seats in the legislative council for its own allies. Reuters' Venus Wu says that means certain candidates have been pushed out.
>> Our sources have told us that Beijing has exerted direct pressure on the Hong Kong government to do something to curb the pro-independence movement ahead of the election this Sunday. As a result, of these pressures, the Hong Kong government has unprecedentedly disqualified six candidates because of their pro-independence stance.
The candidates who have been given the boot come from a new pool of political hopefuls seasoned on the streets of Hong Kong two years ago when they turned out to demand democracy. Beijing refused to budge, so now these one time protesters are trying a new tact, politics. And they're no longer calling for just democracy, they want independence.
The idea that Hong Kong could be or should be independent from China was virtually unheard of one or two years ago. But this idea is picking up momentum among the young people in Hong Kong because they are growing disillusioned and they do not trust Beijing. This young movement has fragmented the pro-democracy camp, making the old guard nervous about the future.
Democratic lawmakers need to win at least a third of the seats in the council in order to get a veto block. Without it, they say their China-friendly opponents will be able to force through new laws, bringing Hong Kong even tighter into the clutches of Beijing.