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Hong Kong's Beijing-backed election reform faces defeat by lawmakers

  • A pro-Beijing protester, left, holding a Chinese national flag confronts with a pro-democracy protester who is carrying a yellow umbrella outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. Hong Kong election reform proposals that sparked massive street protests last year in the southern Chinese financial center are set to be presented to lawmakers, who will likely reject them. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

    A pro-Beijing protester, left, holding a Chinese national flag confronts with a pro-democracy protester who is carrying a yellow umbrella outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. Hong Kong election reform proposals that sparked massive street protests last year in the southern Chinese financial center are set to be presented to lawmakers, who will likely reject them. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pro-democracy lawmakers holding boxes of votes collected from public against the government's controversial electoral proposal outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. Hong Kong election reform proposals that sparked massive street protests last year in the southern Chinese financial center are set to be presented Wednesday to lawmakers, who will likely vote them down. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

    Pro-democracy lawmakers holding boxes of votes collected from public against the government's controversial electoral proposal outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. Hong Kong election reform proposals that sparked massive street protests last year in the southern Chinese financial center are set to be presented Wednesday to lawmakers, who will likely vote them down. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)  (The Associated Press)

  • A pro-democracy protester holding a yellow umbrella attends a rally outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. Hong Kong election reform proposals that sparked massive street protests last year in the southern Chinese financial center are set to be presented Wednesday to lawmakers, who will likely vote them down. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

    A pro-democracy protester holding a yellow umbrella attends a rally outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. Hong Kong election reform proposals that sparked massive street protests last year in the southern Chinese financial center are set to be presented Wednesday to lawmakers, who will likely vote them down. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)  (The Associated Press)

Hong Kong election reform proposals that sparked massive street protests last year in the southern Chinese financial center are set to be presented to lawmakers, who will likely reject them.

The proposals tabled for a legislature debate Wednesday would allow the former British colony's top leader to be chosen by voters through direct elections rather than by a 1,200-member panel of Beijing-friendly elites.

But voters would only be able to choose from a set of candidates screened by the panel, as required by China's central government.

Pro-democracy leaders have blasted the plan as "fake democracy."

Hong Kong's government needs the support of at least two-thirds of the 70 lawmakers to win approval.

But lawmakers from pro-democracy parties have vowed to veto it. They hold 27 seats, giving them veto power.