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Hong Kong candidate was pressure to withdraw from the election

Hong Kong candidate was pressure to withdraw from the electionA Hong Kong politician has said he was pressured to bow out of a city election to clear the field for a candidate favored by the Chinese government, which, if confirmed, could offer rare evidence of interference by Beijing in city politics, Reuters reported on Thursday.

Chinese autonomous Hong Kong held an election for a city legislature on Sunday.

Ken Chow of the pro-business Liberal Party told Reuters on Wednesday he withdrew from the election after three men he believed were sent by the Chinese government threatened him while he was visiting the city of Shenzhen in August.

"They said I must stop campaigning. They also said I must leave Hong Kong as soon as possible ... and I was only permitted to come back after the results," Chow said.

"They said, 'If you keep being stubborn, we will take action, and your supporters will pay a heavy price.'"

Chow also said he was offered money to withdraw from the election and leave the field open for a pro-Beijing candidate.

"They said 'you don't have a chance to win. If you really participate in the election, you'll only ruin the grand plan'," Chow said.

In late August, Chow announced he was dropping out of the race but did not say why. The pro-Beijing candidate he would have competed for votes with won a seat on Sunday.
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