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Hong Kong passes Beijing bill to reduce directly elected lawmakers

Law approved in opposition-less legislature seen as regression of democracy

HONG KONG -- Hong Kong's legislature on Thursday passed a new election law introduced by Beijing in the near-absence of opposition lawmakers, a move that critics describe as a regression of the city's democracy.

Forty lawmakers voted in favor of the so-called Improving Electoral System (Consolidated Amendments) Bill, while two independent lawmakers voted against it.

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