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HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong government’s controversial Beijing-backed election reforms have been defeated by pro-democracy lawmakers.

Twenty-eight lawmakers voted against the proposal after a lengthy debate ended Thursday.

The government needed at least 47 of the 70 lawmakers to vote in favor of the proposals, which sparked huge street protests in the southern Chinese city last year.

At the last moment, most of lawmakers from parties that support Beijing walked out of the legislature chamber and did not cast any votes.