|LCQ18: Term of office of Chief Executive
Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau and a written reply by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, in the Legislative Council today (May 5):
Article 46 of the Basic Law stipulates that "The term of office of the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be five years ...". In this connection, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council whether they have assessed if it is in compliance with the Basic Law to specify in the Chief Executive Election Ordinance (Cap. 569) that where a vacancy arises in the office of the Chief Executive (CE) before the expiry of a full five-year term, the CE elected to fill such a vacancy will only serve out the term of office of the preceding CE; if the assessment result is in the affirmative, whether they will amend the Ordinance to that effect; if they will not, of the reasons for that; if the assessment result is in the negative, of the justifications for that?
Article 46 of the Basic Law provides that the term of office of the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be five years. Article 53 provides that in the event that the office of Chief Executive becomes vacant, a new Chief Executive shall be selected within six months in accordance with the provisions of the Basic Law. The Chief Executive Election Ordinance, and in particular sections 3 and 6, give effect to the above provisions of the Basic Law in respect of the term of office of the Chief Executive and the election to return a candidate for appointment to fill a vacancy in the office of the Chief Executive.
The term of office of the Chief Executive, as prescribed in the Basic Law, is five years. This provision applies to any Chief Executive. There is no exception.
In the light of the above, any amendment to the Chief Executive Election Ordinance which would provide for a term of office other than that of five years is not consistent with the Basic Law.
Ends/Wednesday, May 5, 2004