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Thousands march in protest over Hong Kong’s leader

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 1, 2013 at 9:23 a.m.

— Thousands of people marched in Hong Kong on the first day of 2013 to call for the city’s Beijing-backed leader to step down over allegations he was untruthful about illegal renovations at his mansion.

Police said 17,000 people gathered at the start of the march Tuesday. Organizers say 130,000 took part.

They carried banners and chanted slogans urging the leader, Leung Chun-ying, to resign. Some held signs depicting Leung as Pinocchio or as a wolf with fangs. Many waved Hong Kong’s British colonial-era flag.

In the evening, several hundred members of a small radical group briefly blocked roads after they were stopped by authorities from marching to Leung’s official government residence. At one point, protesters pushed and shoved with police.

The protest comes half a year after Leung took office after being chosen by a 1,193-member committee of mostly pro-Beijing elites. Leung won the job of Hong Kong’s leader, known as the chief executive, after a scandal over a huge, illegal basement brought down his rival.

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