New Hong Kong leader chased from town hall meeting
updated 6:07 AM EDT, Tue July 3, 2012
The new Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying (L) has faced widespread backlash from the public.
- Hong Kong's new chief executive chased out of town hall meeting by protesters
- Incident part of continuing backlash again CE's appointment
- Thousands of protesters flooded Hong Kong's streets following Sunday inauguration ceremony
- Fears of Chinese central government's influence into city's affairs underlying backlash
(CNN) -- On only his second day in office on Monday, Hong Kong's chief executive was chased out of a town hall meeting by protesters, in a continuation of the widespread backlash against his appointment, according to local media reports.
As the forum at a community center was drawing to a close, dozens of young protesters began to shout and hold up placards accusing Leung Chun-ying of putting on a "political show."
Police escorted Leung out of the building and formed a human chain to clear a path to his car, which was swamped by protesters.
The meeting, held in Tuen Mun district, was the first of six district visits planned for Leung to meet residents and discuss issues of concern in a public forum. It followed Leung's promise to improve communication with the public.
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Following his inauguration on Sunday, 400,000 protesters flooded the streets for the city's annual July 1 protest, in heightened numbers not seen since the turnout of 500,000 at the 2003 march, according to protest organizers. Police estimates of crowd numbers were much lower at 63,000.
Read about Hong Kong's mass protest on July 1
Leung's appointment, which was sealed by an elite 1,200-member committee with the Chinese central government's blessing in March, topped citizens' list of ongoing grievances. Sunday's protest was dominated by chants for Leung to step down, dotted with banners and costumes mocking his credibility.
Leung has come under fire most recently for six illegal building structures discovered at his home, which he claimed were installed by a previous tenant. He has also been accused of taking a hard-line approach on public freedoms and being a secret member of the Chinese Communist Party, allegations which he has denied. The backlash against Leung is a microcosm of the city's frustration over a lack of universal suffrage, amid fears of Beijing's encroachment into the city's affairs and freedoms.
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