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Hong Kong Leader Urges Protesters To Leave

Hong Kong's leader has urged pro-democracy protesters to "immediately" withdraw from the streets, as crowds continue to bring parts of the Chinese territory to a standstill.

Leung Chun-ying said on September 30 that China's communist leaders in Beijing would not back down from a decision to restrict voting reforms for the first direct elections to pick his successor in 2017.

The choice of candidates will be restricted to people who must be approved by a pro-Beijing committee.

Protest leaders rejected Leung's demands and renewed calls for him to step down.

The protesters, mostly students, want Beijing to give Hong Kong a free vote for its next leader.

Riot police shot pepper spray and tear gas at demonstrators at the weekend, but withdrew on September 29 to ease tension as the ranks of demonstrators swelled.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP