Veteran Hong Kong leader promises to continue democracy fight
( dpa ) - Veteran democracy leader Martin Lee vowed to continue fighting for universal suffrage for Hong Kong Friday even though he planned to step down from the territory's legislature.
Lee, 69, announced late Thursday night that he would not seek re-election in September's elections for the Legislative Council, Hong Kong's mini-parliament. Justifying the move, he said he was getting too old and it was time to "see fresh faces" in local politics.
Lee, who founded the Democratic Party in the mid-1990s on a platform for full democracy for Hong Kong, planned to continue working as a barrister and supporting the democratic movement.
He will have served as a legislator for 23 years when his current term ends in July.
China has repeatedly delayed giving Hong Kong a timetable for the introduction of one-person, one-vote despite pressure from democrats.
Beijing has already rejected plans to move towards full democracy in the 2012 elections for Hong Kong's new leader. The Chinese government has indicted 2017 as the next possible date for direct elections.