President of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong

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President of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong
香港特別行政區立法會主席
Legco.svg
Logo of the Legislative Council
Andrew Leung 2017.jpg
Incumbent
Andrew Leung

since 12 October 2016
Nominator Legislative Council
Appointer Legislative Council
Term length 4 years
Inaugural holder Henry Pottinger
John Joseph Swaine
Formation 1843(Governor)
1993(non-Governor)
Hkpol2.png
Politics and government
of Hong Kong
Foreign relations
Related topics Hong Kong SAR Regional Emblem.svg Hong Kong portal

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]

History[edit]

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.

Eligibility[edit]

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]

Roles[edit]

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]

Primacy of President[edit]

In a controversial move directed at reining in democratic legislators (most of whom were elected by universal suffrage and six of whose seats had been vacated by a controversial court order of disqualification), amendments to the Rules of Procedure were passed on 15 December 2017 giving sweeping powers to the President to control the business of the legislature. Among them is the power to vet proposed motions and amendments to bills, require legislators to explain them and to reject or merge them. Prior notice must be given of any notice of motion and the President may reconvene the chamber immediately after any failure to meet quorum.[2] Under the undemocratic election system of the legislature, the role of president has been occupied by a pro-Beijing legislator since 1 July 1997.

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 policies 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 (1843–1941)[edit]

Before 1993, the Legislative Council was presided over by the Governor of Hong Kong.

Japanese occupation period (1941–1945)[edit]

From 25 December 1941 to 30 August 1945, the office was suspended due to the Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong. The representative advisory bodies during the time were the Chinese Representative Council and Chinese Cooperative Council.

Restoration to British rule (1946–1997)[edit]

Until 1993, the Legislative Council was presided over by the Governor of Hong Kong. The President was elected among members of the Legislative Council thereafter, the last Governor Chris Patten having given up the presidency that year.

Political party:   Nonpartisan

Portrait Name
(Born–Died)
Term of office Political Party Constituency Election
Took office Left office Duration
Sir John Joseph Swaine.jpg Sir John Joseph Swaine
施偉賢

(1932–2012)

19 February 1993 30 September 1995 2 years, 223 days Nonpartisan Appointed
Blanksvg.svg Andrew Wong
黃宏發

(born 1943)

11 October 1995 30 June 1997 1 year, 262 days Nonpartisan New Territories Southeast 1995

Provisional Legislative Council (1997–1998)[edit]

SAR Legislative Council (1998–present)[edit]

Political party:   Nonpartisan   Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB)   Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong (BPA)

Portrait Name
(Born–Died)
Term of office Political Party Constituency Assembly
(Election)
Took office Left office Duration
1 Rita Fan.jpg Rita Fan
范徐麗泰

(born 1945)

2 July 1998 30 September 2008 10 years, 90 days Unaffiliated
(Pro-Beijing)
Election Committee 1st
(1998)
2nd
(2000)
Hong Kong Island 3rd
(2004)
2 Tsang Yok Sing Photo.JPG Jasper Tsang
曾鈺成

(born 1947)

8 October 2008 30 September 2016 7 years, 358 days Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong
(Pro-Beijing)
Hong Kong Island 4th
(2008)
5th
(2012)
3 Andrew Leung.JPG Andrew Leung
梁君彥

(born 1951)

12 October 2016 Incumbent 1 year, 281 days Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong
(Pro-Beijing)
Industrial (First) 6th
(2016)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Legislative Council In Brief No. 2/2012-13", Legislative Council of Hong Kong 
  2. ^ Cheng, Kris (15 December 2017). "Hong Kong legislature passes controversial house rule changes taking powers from lawmakers". Hong Kong Free Press. Retrieved 16 December 2017.