President of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong
|President of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong
Logo of the Legislative Council
|Term length||4 years|
|Inaugural holder||Henry Pottinger
John Joseph Swaine
|Politics and government
of Hong Kong
|Related topics 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
- 2 Eligibility
- 3 Roles
- 4 List of presidents
- 5 References
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.
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:
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.
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.
Primacy of President
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. Under the undemocratic election system of the legislature, the role of president has been occupied by a pro-Beijing legislator since 1 July 1997.
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.
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.
List of presidents
British Colonial period (1843–1941)
Before 1993, the Legislative Council was presided over by the Governor of Hong Kong.
Japanese occupation period (1941–1945)
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)
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
|Term of office||Political Party||Constituency||Election|
|Took office||Left office||Duration|
|Sir John Joseph Swaine
|19 February 1993||30 September 1995||2 years, 223 days||Nonpartisan||Appointed|
|11 October 1995||30 June 1997||1 year, 262 days||Nonpartisan||New Territories Southeast||1995|
Provisional Legislative Council (1997–1998)
- Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai (2 July 1997 – 30 June 1998)
SAR Legislative Council (1998–present)
Political party: Nonpartisan Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong (BPA)
|Term of office||Political Party||Constituency||Assembly
|Took office||Left office||Duration|
|2 July 1998||30 September 2008||10 years, 90 days||Unaffiliated
|Hong Kong Island||3rd
|8 October 2008||30 September 2016||7 years, 358 days||Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong
|Hong Kong Island||4th
|12 October 2016||Incumbent||1 year, 151 days||Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong
- "Legislative Council In Brief No. 2/2012-13", Legislative Council of Hong Kong
- 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.