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Electoral Matters

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HKSAR LegCo Election

I. Introduction

Under the Basic Law, the Legislative Council is the legislature of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The powers and functions that the Legislative Council is to exercise are specified in Article 73 of the Basic Law. They include:

(a) to enact laws;

(b) to examine and approve budgets, taxation and public expenditure;

(c) to receive and debate the policy addresses of the Chief Executive;

(d) to raise questions on the work of the government;

(e) to debate issues concerning public interests; and

(f) to receive and handle complaints from Hong Kong residents.

II. Composition of the Legislative Council

The sixth-term Legislative Council has 70 seats, 35 members are returned by geographical constituencies, and the remaining 35 by functional constituencies including five from the District Council (second) functional constituency. The President of the Legislative Council is elected by and from among the council’s members. The sixth-term of office of the Legislative Council began on October 1, 2016. The term of office was originally four years. In light of the Chief Executive’s announcement on 31 July 2020 that the 2020 Legislative Council General Election, originally scheduled for 6 September, would be postponed for a year to 5 September 2021 amidst the severe COVID-19 epidemic situation in Hong Kong, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress made a decision on 11 August 2020 on how to deal with the lacuna of the Legislative Council in accordance with the relevant provisions in the Constitution of the People's Republic of China and the Basic Law. In accordance with the decision, the sixth-term Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is to continue to discharge duties for not less than one year until the seventh-term of office of Legislative Council begins. After the seventh-term Legislative Council is formed in accordance with the law, its term of office remains to be four years.

Regarding geographical constituency election, the territory of Hong Kong is divided into five geographical constituencies, i.e. Hong Kong Island, Kowloon West, Kowloon East, New Territories West and New Territories East. Each constituency returns a specified number (on the basis of the size of population residing in the constituency) of Legislative Council members. The list voting system operating under the largest remainder formula applies in the geographical constituency election. This is a form of proportional representation, capable of producing election results which reflect more accurately voter preferences.

Regarding functional constituency election, there are 29 functional constituencies returning a total of 35 members. These functional constituencies represent sectors which are substantial and important to the development of the community. Each of the functional constituencies returns one member, with the exception of the labour functional constituency and the District Council (second) functional constituency which return three and five respectively. The first-past-the-post voting system is used in the election of the majority of functional constituencies. The list voting system is used in the election of the District Council (second) functional constituency.

III. The Sixth Term Legislative Council Election

Election to the sixth term Legislative Council was held on 4 September 2016. A total of 289 candidates signed up for the poll. Of these, 213 competed for the 35 geographical constituency seats, and 64 for the 23 contested functional constituency seats. 12 candidates were returned uncontested in 10 functional constituencies.

The public participated actively in the election with record high turnout rates. The number of voters who cast their votes and the respective turnout rates are set out below:

i) Geographical constituencies

Number of voters: 2,202,283

Turnout Rate: 58.28%

ii) Functional constituencies (other than District Council (second) functional constituency):

Number of voters: 172,820

Turnout Rate: 74.33%

iii) District Council (second) functional constituency:

Number of voters: 1,983,049

Turnout Rate: 57.09%

For more details on the Sixth Term Legislative Council Election, please click here to visit the relevant website.