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Electing Hong Kong's Chief Executive

Simon N.M. Young, Richard Cullen

Publication Year: 2010

In 2007, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region held its first-ever contested election for Chief Executive, selected by 800 members of an Election Committee drawn from roughly 7% of the population. The outcome was a foregone conclusion, but the process allowed a pro-democracy legislator to obtain enough nominations to contest the election. The office of Chief Executive is as unique as the system used to fill the office, distinct from colonial governors and other leaders of Chinese provinces and municipalities. The head of the HKSAR enjoys greater autonomous powers, such as powers to nominate principal officials for Chinese appointment, pardon offenders and appoint judges. Despite its many anti-democratic features, the Election Committee has generated behavior typically associated with elections in leading capitalist democracies and has also gained prominence on the mainland as the vehicle for returning Hong Kong deputies to the National People's Congress. This book reviews the history and development of the Election Committee (and its predecessor), discusses its ties to legislative assemblies in Hong Kong and Mainland China, and reflects on the future of the system.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-5

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Foreword

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pp. vii-ix

The hostility to democracy by political authorities in Beijing and their allies in Hong Kong is nowhere better illustrated than in the web of rules that govern the representation of the people of Hong Kong in local and national institutions. Best known perhaps is the presence of functional constituency members in the Legislative Council. Elected...

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Preface

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pp. xi-13

Since 2004, Civic Exchange has encouraged scholars to carry out in-depth research and study of Hong Kong’s core political institutions, which surprisingly had up to then been much neglected by academics. These studies have served to inform the public, stimulate public debate and contribute to better public policy making in Hong Kong...

Table of Cases and Legislation

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pp. xiii-xvii

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1 - Introduction

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pp. 1-7

This book is about how the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) chooses its most powerful political leader, the Chief Executive (CE). On 25 March 2007, almost a decade after the transfer of sovereignty from Britain to China, the HKSAR held its first ever contested election for CE. The body that elected the CE, known...

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2 - History and Development of the Election Committee

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pp. 9-27

In this chapter we first briefly outline the development of Hong Kong’s unique political structure. This overview covers the period from the establishment of British Hong Kong until the current era, following the reversion of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom (UK) to the People’s Republic of China (PRC), when,...

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3 - Significance of the Election Committee in Hong Kong and Mainland China

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pp. 29-50

In Chapter 2, we explained the basic operation of the several ECs established, in accordance with the Basic Law, since 1997. We also examined the creation and operation of the pre-1997 forerunner of the EC, the Selection Committee. In order to understand the genesis of this crucial electoral college system in Hong Kong more clearly...

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4 - System for Electing Election Committee Members

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pp. 51-76

The Basic Law embodies the idea that there should be a representative committee of individuals, known as the EC, responsible for nominating CE candidates and electing (at least up to and until there is universal suffrage) the CE. This chapter takes a closer look at the system of electing the 800 EC members to assess how...

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5 - System for Electing the Chief Executive

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pp. 77-91

This chapter provides a detailed discussion of the legal and operational dimensions of the prevailing system for electing the CE in the HKSAR. We focus on the system in place arising out of the establishment of the 2006 EC. The operation of the ECs preceding the 2006 EC — and the pre-HKSAR Selection Committee — are...

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6 - Conclusions and Reflections

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pp. 93-104

The EC is the child in Hong Kong’s political system. Its birth in 1998 was a milestone as it embodied a system that gave Hong Kong people, for the first time, the power to select the highest political office holder in the HKSAR. Having had only two further elections since that birth (in 2000 and 2006), this child has yet to mature....

Table of Abbreviations

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pp. 105-106

Appendix 1 - Chronology of Key Events

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pp. 107-112

Appendix 2 - Number of Selection/Election Committee Seats 1996–2006

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pp. 113-133

Appendix 3 - Number of Election Committee Members by Subsector 1998–2006

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pp. 115-116

Appendix 4 - History and Description of Election Committee Subsectors

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pp. 117-124

Appendix 5 - Number of Registered Election Committee Individual and Corporate Electors 1998–2006

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pp. 125-145

Appendix 6 - Methods for Determining the 2006 Election Committee Electorate

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pp. 127-128

Appendix 7 - Individual, Corporate & Mixed Voting in the 2006 Election Committee Subsector Elections

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pp. 129-149

Appendix 8 - Proportion of Subsectors with Corporate, Individual & Mixed Voting in 2006 Election Committee Sectors

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pp. 131-151

Appendix 9 - Seats and Electorate Share by Subsector 2006

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pp. 133-134

Appendix 10 - Members of the 1996 Selection Committee

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pp. 135-150

Appendix 11 - Members of the 1998 Election Committee

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pp. 151-174

Appendix 12 - Members of the 2000 Election Committee

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pp. 175-201

Appendix 13 - Members of the 2006 Election Committee

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pp. 203-222

Appendix 14 - Gender & Age of 2006 Election Committee Members by Subsector

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pp. 223-224

Appendix 15 - Political Affiliation of 2006 Election Committee Members by Sector

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pp. 225-245

Appendix 16 - Party Affiliation of 2000 and 2006 Election Committee Members

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pp. 227-247

Appendix 17 - Details of Election Committee Subsector Elections & By-Elections 2000–2006

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pp. 229-233

Appendix 18 - Details of 2000 and 2006 Election Committee Subsector Elections by Sector

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pp. 235-255

Appendix 19 - Details of 2000 and 2006 Election Committee Subsector Elections by Subsector Type

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pp. 237-257

Appendix 20 - Comparison of Voter Turnout Rates in FC and EC Elections 2000–2006

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pp. 239-240

Appendix 21 - Allocation of Seats According to Size of 2006 Subsectors

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pp. 241-242

Index

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pp. 243-254


E-ISBN-13: 9789888053452
Print-ISBN-13: 9789888028399

Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2010

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Subject Headings

  • Hong Kong (China) -- Politics and government -- 1997-.
  • Hong Kong (China). Chief Executive -- Elections, 2007.
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