Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
This page discusses the college of electors in Hong Kong politics. There may be other meanings for the term "Election Committee", so also see Election Committee (disambiguation) .
The Election Committee is an 800-member electoral college in the politics of Hong Kong. It was established by Annex I of the Basic Law of Hong Kong. This article defines the method of electing the Chief Executive. It is renewed every five years when the sitting Chief Executive's term has expired. The body is then used to select the new Chief Executive.
Choosing the Members of the Election Committee
Each of the twenty-eight functional constituencies receives a set number of electoral votes allocated to them. The block vote is applied to choose the members, as was common in the United States before the modern practice of voting only for a set slate or ticket of electors was established. This caused California to split votes many times in the days when it was a powerful swing state in the early twentieth century.
The allocation of seats is as follows.
The 800 members contain 664 nominated from the sectors of the economy, 40 from the religious organizations, and 96 ex officio members taken from the government.
Source of data: HKSAR website
The Functional Constituencies - 550 members
- Heung Yee Kuk (21)
- Agriculture and Fisheries (40)
- Insurance (12)
- Transport (12)
- Education (20)
- Legal (20)
- Accountancy (20)
- Medical (20)
- Health Services (20)
- Engineering (20)
- Architectural, Surveying and Planning (20)
- Labour (40)
- Social Welfare (40)
- Real Estate & Construction (12)
- Tourism (12)
- Commercial (First) (12)
- Commercial (Second) (12)
- Industrial (First) (12)
- Industrial (Second) (12)
- Finance (12)
- Financial Services (12)
- Sports, Performing Arts, Culture and Publication (40)
- Imports and Exports (12)
- Textiles and Garments (12)
- Wholesale and Retail (12)
- Information Technology (20)
- Catering (11)
- The District Councils (42) - 21 from Kowloon and HK, 21 from New Territories
Special Constituencies - 114 members
- Higher Education (20)
- Hotels (11)
- Chinese Medicine (20)
- Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (41)
- Employers' Federation of Hong Kong (11)
- Hong Kong Chinese Enterprises Association (11)
Government Bodies - 96 members (all ex officio)
Religious Organizations - 40 members
- Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong (7)
- Chinese Muslim Cultural and Fraternal Association (6)
- Hong Kong Christian Council (7)
- Hong Kong Taoist Association (6)
- The Confucian Academy (7)
- The Hong Kong Buddhist Association (7)
Since the electors must serve for no more than five years, a new election is due to occur, and the Chief Executive resignation would cause an interesting matter of timing, as to whether the old or new college of electors selects the new Chief Executive.
The EC elections have been quite irregular. They were held in 1998 and 2000, but none (except for the 2002 by-election) have been held since. There will now be a Chief Executive election following Tung Chee-Hwa's resignation on March 12, and since electoral law states that an election must be held within 120 days of the vacancy, an election would have to be held on the tenth of July at the latest. It is currently unclear when the 2005 EC election will be, and also the exact time period seperating the election and the date of taking of office for this Election Committee. If the new EC convenes prior to the Chief Executive election, it would be applied to select the next Chief Executive, but otherwise the old Election Committee dating from 2000 would have to complete the task. See Hong Kong Chief Executive election, 2005 for more information on the topic.
Choosing the Chief Executive
Each candidate must be validly and legally nominated to participate in the election. One of the requirements for eligibility is the support of 100 members of the Election Committee. Since each elector can only support one candidate, 701 signatures will guarantee election unopposed. The college of electors casts the official ballots for the office, with an absolute majority of the votes requried to be elected, as in the United States. If no candidate receives an absolute majority, 401 votes as it currently stands, a runoff is held on a later date. The runoff proposal is one of the few places where this system differs from the U.S. system, since the United States Constitution throws the election into the legislature. It is rather unclear what would happen in the case of a 400-400 tie, since the constitution does not state any tie-breaker formats. Inauguration Day is set at Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day , July 1, with the elections being held on a date determined by the sitting Chief Executive anytime in the six months prior to this date.
- Hong Kong Chief Executive election, 2002
- Hong Kong Chief Executive election, 1996
- Hong Kong Chief Executive election, 2005 (after resignation)
(See also Democratization of Hong Kong )
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