Hong Kong Basic Law Article 45

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Hong Kong Basic Law Article 45 (Chinese: 香港基本法第四十五條) is a controversial article in the Basic Law (constitution) of Hong Kong. It states that the Chief executive should be chosen by universal suffrage as an eventual goal. Its speedy implementation is advocated by the Basic Law Article 45 Concern Group.

Contents of Article 45[edit]

Article 45 gives the requirements for choosing the Chief Executive:

"The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be selected by election or through consultations held locally and be appointed by the Central People's Government.[1]"
"The method for selecting the Chief Executive shall be specified in the light of the actual situation in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and in accordance with the principle of gradual and orderly progress. The ultimate aim is the selection of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures.[1]"

Details of procedures to be adopted are found in Annex I to the Basic Law where the same expression "broadly representative" is used to describe the constituency of the Election Committee notwithstanding its only representing a tiny section of the total number of registered electors.


The focus of initial controversy was on the timetable for progress towards universal suffrage[2] but, having extracted a promise of a timetable of reform (2016 for the legislature and 2017 for the Chief Executive) heated debate ensued over the details of the election systems to be employed. Positions on both sides hardened in early 2013 with the newly appointed chairman of the PRC government's Law Committee, Qiao Xiaoyang, espousing hard-to-define pre-conditions on CE candidature, ("love China and Hong Kong" and "not oppose the Central Government") including declaring that Beijing would refuse to appoint an unsupportive Hong Kong CE even if democratically elected, and pro-democracy groups forming their Alliance for True Democracy in support of the Occupy Central protest movement devised by Dr Benny Y T Tai of the University of Hong Kong, demanding universal suffrage with no strings attached.


  1. ^ a b HK basic law web pdf. "HK basic law." The Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative region of the People's Republic of China. Retrieved on 2007-01-08.
  2. ^ News.gov.hk. "News.gov.hk." Dialogue, consensus, key to reform. Article 19 May 2004. Retrieved on 2008-01-08.

See also[edit]