Hong Kong Governance

James Hugo
4 min readJun 10, 2019


Article 45
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.

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.

Occupy central/ Umbrella Movement/ 2014 Hong Kong Protest, started because the CCP went against universal suffrage, instead saying they would “pre-screen” candidates to a select few to be nominated for the position of Chief Executive. This effectively meant the Hong Kong people could not vote for their chosen slate.

Ignore at will, but in more detail:

On 24 March 2013, Qiao Xiaoyang, then chairman of the Law Committee under the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) startled Hongkongers by announcing that Chief Executive candidates must be persons who love the country and love Hong Kong, and who do not insist on confronting the central government.[15] The statement was taken as setting out new, vague pre-conditions for candidacy as a means of screening out candidates not sympathetic to Beijing’s goals in Hong Kong, denying the promise of genuine democracy.[16][17] OCLP was convened three days later.

Legislative Council:

75 members. 35 elected by 5 geographical constituencies (GC) (by the citizens in those regions), 35 elected by functional constituencies (businesses and economic sectors represent).

The functional constituency has been criticised for having much bigger voting power compared to citizens in GCs.

Currently, Chief executive elected by:

The Chief Executive is elected from a restricted pool of candidates supportive of the Central Government by a 1200-member Election Committee, an electoral college consisting of individuals (i.e. private citizens) and bodies (i.e. special interest groups) selected or elected within 28 functional constituencies, as prescribed in Annex I to the Basic Law.

With Beijing’s stance to allow only two or three candidates — most likely candidates whom the party can trust with loyalty to the central government — to run for Hong Kong chief executive in its 2017 election, the last and perhaps most possible wish for a progressive approach to grow democratic values on Chinese soil is fading away.

The Chief Executive is required to renounce publicly with a statutory declaration, allegiance with any political parties.

2019 Protest (9th June 2019 Sunday):

Protesting against the soon to be passed bill amending the extradition law, where previously people could not be extradited to the Mainland, or to Taiwan, will now be allowed.

Details: https://multimedia.scmp.com/infographics/news/hong-kong/article/3013512/hong-kong-extradition/index.html

More than 1 million showed up. Carrie Lam refused to resign, and the bill will resume its second reading (definition given below) on the 12th June.


The proposals have sparked an outcry and birthed an opposition that unites a wide cross-section of the city, with opponents fearing the law would entangle people in China’s opaque and politicised court system.

Protesters believe the proposed law would damage the city’s rule of law and put many at risk of extradition to China for political crimes.

Additional info (context):

(as per “reading” above) Reading of a bill in parliament defined:

A first reading is when a bill is introduced to a legislature. Typically, in the United States, the title of the bill is read and immediately assigned to a committee. The bill is then considered by committee between the first and second readings.

A second reading is the stage of the legislative process where a draft of a bill is read a second time.

A third reading is the stage of a legislative process in which a bill is read with all amendments and given final approval by a legislative body.

Alternative definition (for HK, quoted from SCMP):

A legislative bill has to go through three separate readings to become law. After being tabled, it receives a preliminary debate in its second reading and is then adjourned to be referred to a bills committee for detailed examination.

At the bills committee stage, officials and lawmakers vet the proposed legislation on a clause-by-clause basis and can also make amendments to the original bill. The bill is then referred to the full council to resume the second reading and to be debated. After a third reading, the bill is then put to a vote.

A government bill needs to secure a simple majority, or 35 votes, from lawmakers to become law. The government announced in mid-February its intention to amend the extradition law, and formally introduced the bill in April.

HK gov structure:



James Hugo

Ongoing posts on topics of current interest. Distilling information. For personal reference, but hopefully will be of some use to other people in the future.