World

Hong Kong government faces opposition as it unveils Beijing-backed election reforms

  • Yellow crosses are placed after pro-democracy lawmakers walked out of the legislative chamber to protest against Chief Secretary Carrie Lam who unveiled the Beijing-backed election reform package’s details, in Hong Kong Wednesday, April. 22, 2015. Hong Kong's government unveiled election reform proposals that would allow residents to vote for the southern Chinese city's top leader for the first time. But the proposals include Beijing-backed restrictions facing stiff resistance from the city's pro-democracy lawmakers. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

    Yellow crosses are placed after pro-democracy lawmakers walked out of the legislative chamber to protest against Chief Secretary Carrie Lam who unveiled the Beijing-backed election reform package’s details, in Hong Kong Wednesday, April. 22, 2015. Hong Kong's government unveiled election reform proposals that would allow residents to vote for the southern Chinese city's top leader for the first time. But the proposals include Beijing-backed restrictions facing stiff resistance from the city's pro-democracy lawmakers. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pro-democracy lawmakers talk to reporters following a walkout from the legislative chamber after Chief Secretary Carrie Lam unveiled the Beijing-backed election reform package’s details in Hong Kong Wednesday, April. 22, 2015. Hong Kong's government unveiled election reform proposals that would allow residents to vote for the southern Chinese city's top leader for the first time. But the proposals include Beijing-backed restrictions facing stiff resistance from the city's pro-democracy lawmakers. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

    Pro-democracy lawmakers talk to reporters following a walkout from the legislative chamber after Chief Secretary Carrie Lam unveiled the Beijing-backed election reform package’s details in Hong Kong Wednesday, April. 22, 2015. Hong Kong's government unveiled election reform proposals that would allow residents to vote for the southern Chinese city's top leader for the first time. But the proposals include Beijing-backed restrictions facing stiff resistance from the city's pro-democracy lawmakers. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pro-democracy lawmakers walk out of the legislative chamber after Chief Secretary Carrie Lam unveiled the Beijing-backed election reform package’s details in Hong Kong Wednesday, April. 22, 2015. Hong Kong's government unveiled election reform proposals that would allow residents to vote for the southern Chinese city's top leader for the first time. But the proposals include Beijing-backed restrictions facing stiff resistance from the city's pro-democracy lawmakers. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

    Pro-democracy lawmakers walk out of the legislative chamber after Chief Secretary Carrie Lam unveiled the Beijing-backed election reform package’s details in Hong Kong Wednesday, April. 22, 2015. Hong Kong's government unveiled election reform proposals that would allow residents to vote for the southern Chinese city's top leader for the first time. But the proposals include Beijing-backed restrictions facing stiff resistance from the city's pro-democracy lawmakers. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)  (The Associated Press)

Hong Kong's government has unveiled election reform proposals that would allow residents to vote for the southern Chinese city's top leader for the first time.

But the proposals include Beijing-backed restrictions facing stiff resistance from the city's pro-democracy lawmakers.

They could spark renewed protests by student leaders and other activists who led mass street occupations that lasted nearly three months last year.

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam outlined the reform package's details on Wednesday to lawmakers. She said that under the government's proposals, the city's 5 million eligible voters could choose from up to three candidates in 2017.

But she said the power to select candidates would remain in the hands of a 1,200-member panel of Beijing-friendly tycoons and other elites.