President of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong

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President of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong
Hong Kong SAR Regional Emblem.svg
Tsang Yok Sing Photo.JPG
Jasper Tsang

since 8 October 2008
Nominator Legislative Council
Appointer Legislative Council
Term length 4 years
Inaugural holder Henry Pottinger
John Joseph Swaine
Formation 1843(Governor)

The President of the Legislative Council (Chinese: 香港特別行政區立法會主席) is the speaker of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong. According to the Article 71 of the Hong Kong Basic Law, the President of the Legislative Council is elected by and from among Legislative Council members, plays the presiding role, administrative role and ceremonial role, and ensures the smooth conduct of the Legislative Council meetings.[1]


From the establishment of the council in 1843 to 1993, the President of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong was the Governor. In 1991, a Deputy President, Sir John Joseph Swaine, was appointed by the governor from among the members to chair the sittings. The governor remained president and member, but systematically absented himself from most of the sittings. In February 1993, the governor ceased to be member and president of the council. The presidency was handed over to a member elected from among the unofficial members.


Under the current system, the President shall be a Chinese citizen and permanent resident of Hong Kong SAR of not less than 40 years of age, with no right of abode in any foreign country and has ordinarily resided in Hong Kong for continuous period of not less than 20 years.[1]


Under the Article 66 to 79 in the Basic Law, the Legislative Council Commission Ordinance Cap. 443, the Legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance Cap. 382 and the Rules of Procedure of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (RoP), the President performs the following roles in the Council:

Presiding role[edit]

The President presides over Council meetings and ensures that businesses are transacted in an orderly way during the Council meetings. In the absence of the President, the chairman of the House Committee serves as deputy to the President.

The President determines the day and hours of the meetings. He or she may change agenda, suspend a meeting, and call a special meeting, or adjourn the Legislative Council.[1]

The President shall call emergency meetings at the request of the Chief Executive.

The President is responsible for the observance of the rules of order in the Legislative Council and his or her decision on a point of order shall be final.[1]

Administrative role[edit]

The President is also the chairman of the Legislative Council Commission, a statutory body and provides administrative support and services for the Legislative Council and its members through the Legislative Council secretariat.

The Legislative Council Commission determines the organization and administration of support services and facilities, formulate and execute polices on their effective operation and expand funds in ways it see fit to support these activities.[1]

Ceremonial role[edit]

The President is accorded the sixth place in the official precedence list following the Chief Executive, the Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal, the Chief Secretary for Administration, the Financial Secretary and the Secretary for Justice. He or she is the representative of the Legislative Council on ceremonial and formal occasions.[1]

List of presidents[edit]

British Colonial period[edit]

# Portrait Name Took Office Left Office
1 Sir Henry Pottinger.jpg Sir Henry Pottinger 26 June 1843 1844
2 John Francis Davis.jpg Sir John Francis Davis 8 May 1844 1848
3 Sir samuel george bonham.gif Sir George Bonham 21 March 1848 1854
4 Sir John Bowring by John King.jpg Sir John Bowring 13 April 1854 1859
5 LordRosmead.jpg Sir Hercules Robinson 9 September 1859 1865
6 Richard Graves MacDonnell.jpg Sir Richard Graves MacDonnell 11 March 1866 1872
7 ArthurEdwardKennedy.jpg Sir Arthur Kennedy 16 April 1872 1877
8 Sir John Hennessy.gif Sir John Pope Hennessy 22 April 1877 1882
9 George Bowen b.jpg Sir George Ferguson Bowen 30 March 1883 1885
10 Sir G. William Des Voeux.jpg Sir George William Des Vœux 6 October 1887 1891
11 Sir William Robinson.jpg Sir William Robinson 10 December 1891 1898
12 Henry Arthur Blake.jpg Sir Henry Arthur Blake 25 November 1898 1903
13 Sir Matthew Nathan.jpg Sir Matthew Nathan 29 July 1904 1904
14 LordLugard.jpg Lord Frederick Lugard 29 July 1907 1912
15 Francis Henry May.gif Sir Francis Henry May 24 July 1912 1919
16 SirReginaldStubbs.jpg Sir Reginald Edward Stubbs 30 September 1919 1925
17 SirCecilClementi.jpg Sir Cecil Clementi 1 November 1925 1930
18 SirWilliamPeel HK.jpg Sir William Peel 9 May 1930 1935
19 Sir Andrew Caldecott 12 December 1935 1937
20 Geoff Northcote.gif Sir Geoffry Northcote 28 October 1937 1941
21 Sir Mark Aitchison Young 10 September 1941 1941

Japanese occupation period[edit]

From 25 December 1941 to 30 August 1945, the office was suspended due to Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong.

British Colonial period (continued)[edit]

# Portrait Name Took Office Left Office Notes
Frank Gimson.jpg Colonial Secretary Franklin Charles Gimson 1945 1945 Acting
23 Cecil Harcourt.jpg Rear Admiral Sir Cecil Halliday Jepson Harcourt 1945 1946 Head of British Military Government
24 Sir Mark Aitchison Young 1946 1947 Restoration
25 Sir Alexander Grantham 25 July 1947 1957
26 Sir Robert Brown Black 23 January 1958 1964
27 Sir David Clive Crosbie Trench 14 April 1964 1971
28 Lord MacLehose of Beoch 19 November 1971 1982
29 Sir Edward Youde 20 May 1982 1986
30 David Wilson 2008.jpg Lord Wilson of Tillyorn 9 April 1987 1992
31 Chris Patten -2008-10-31-.jpg Chris Patten 9 July 1992 1993
32 Sir John Joseph Swaine 19 February 1993 1995 First non-Governor President of LegCo
33 Andrew Wong Wang-fat 11 October 1995 26 June 1997 First ethnic Chinese President

After transfer of the sovereignty to China[edit]

No. Portrait Name Affiliation Constituency Took Office Left Office Assembly
President of the Provisional Legislative Council
- Rita Fan.jpg Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai Nonpartisan N/A 2 July 1997 30 June 1998 PLC
President of the Legislative Council
1 Rita Fan.jpg Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai Nonpartisan Election Committee 2 July 1998 30 June 2000 I
4 October 2000 30 September 2004 II
Hong Kong Island 6 October 2004 30 September 2008 III
2 Tsang Yok Sing Photo.JPG Jasper Tsang Yok-sing DAB Hong Kong Island 8 October 2008 17 July 2012 IV
10 October 2012 Incumbent V

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Legislative Council In Brief No. 2/2012-13", Legislative Council of Hong Kong