How Hong Kong’s Legislative Council chooses its leader

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 October, 2016, 12:19pm
UPDATED : Monday, 03 October, 2016, 12:20pm

Election of the Legislative Council president

Article 71 of the Basic Law stipulates that the Legco president is elected by and from among members. The coming election will be held at the first council meeting of the term on October 12, and candidates will attend a special forum beforehand to address questions from other members.

The member present who has the longest continuous service in the council and is not nominated for the office will preside at the election. This means pan-democrat Leung Yiu-chung, of the Neighbourhood and Worker’s Service Centre, will chair the meeting as the member who tops the list, Democratic Party’s James To Kun-sun, is representing the democratic caucus in the race.

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Members will pick the winner via secret ballots, and the president elected should hold office until the council dissolves at the end of the four-year term or when it is dissolved under the Basic Law.

Duties of the Legco president

Article 72 of the Basic Law spells out the various duties of the president, which include:

Preside over all council meetings;

Decide on the agenda and the time of the meetings;

Call special sessions during the recess and emergency sessions on the request of the chief executive;

Exercises other powers and functions as prescribed in the Legco rules of procedure.

Former Legco presidents and their term of office

Prior to the handover:

Sir John Joseph Swaine, an appointed member, non-partisan (1993–1995)

Andrew Wong Wang-fat, a directly elected member, non-partisan (1995–1997)

After the handover:

Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, a directly elected member, Beijing-friendly independent (1998–2008)

Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, a directly elected member, from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress (2008–2016)