Tens of thousands are expected to take to the streets on Sunday to demand Hong Kong’s leader steps down, a day after she suspended an extradition bill and expressed “deep sorrow and regret” that recent events had stirred “controversies”, Trend reports citing Reuters.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Saturday indefinitely delayed the bill that could send people to mainland China to face trial, in a dramatic reversal after mass and sometimes violent protests to demand the law be scrapped.
The about-face was one of the most significant political turnarounds by the Hong Kong government since Britain returned the territory to China in 1997, and it threw into question Lam’s ability to continue to lead the city.
Organizers of the protest said they hope more than a million people will turn up for the rally, similar to numbers they estimated for a demonstration against the proposed extradition bill last Sunday. Police put that count at 240,000.
Violent clashes on Wednesday when police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters grabbed global headlines and forced some banks to shut branches near the protest site in the heart of the financial hub.
The city’s independent legal system was guaranteed under laws governing Hong Kong’s return from British to Chinese rule 22 years ago, and is seen by the financial hub’s business and diplomatic communities as its strong remaining asset amid encroachments from Beijing.