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World > Asia > Hong Kong > Government and Political Conditions (Notes)

Hong Kong - Government and Political Conditions (Notes)


GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) is headed by Chief Executive Donald Tsang, who first took office in 2005 and whose current term ends in 2012. The Election Committee that votes on the Chief Executive is made up of approximately 800 Hong Kong residents from four constituency groups: commercial, industrial, and financial interests; professionals; labor, social services, and religious interests; and the legislature, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and the P.R.C. National People's Congress.

In December 2006, supporters of pro-democracy Civic Party legislator Alan Leong won 134 seats in the Election Committee, enabling Leong to challenge incumbent Chief Executive Tsang's bid for a new five-year term in 2007. Tsang, with solid support from the pro-government and pro-business sectors, won the March 25, 2007 Election Committee vote with 649 of the 795 votes. Leong garnered 123 votes.

In July 2002, the Hong Kong Government implemented the Principal Officials Accountability System, which was designed to make the government more responsive to public concerns. Eleven political appointees, directly responsible to the Chief Executive, were added to run the 11 policy bureaus. Three other senior civil service positions--the Chief Secretary, Financial Secretary, and Justice Secretary--also were converted to political appointments.

While Hong Kong remains a free and open society where human rights are respected, courts are independent, and there is well-established respect for the rule of law, residents are limited in their ability to change their government, and the legislature is limited in its power to affect government policies. The September 12, 2004 Legislative Council elections were seen as generally free, open, and widely contested, although Hong Kong groups have alleged voter intimidation, manipulation, or pressure in connection with them.

In April 2004, the P.R.C. National People's Congress Standing Committee issued a decision on the scope and pace of constitutional reform, which laid out certain conditions for the process of democratic development. This decision precluded major changes to the electoral systems for the 2007 Chief Executive and 2008 Legislative Council elections, with the result that no significant reform of the electoral systems can be realized until the Chief Executive and Legislative Council elections scheduled for 2012.

In December 2005 the Legislative Council rejected a Hong Kong Government-proposed package of incremental reforms to the mechanisms for choosing the Chief Executive in 2007 and forming the Legislative Council in 2008. In mid-2007, the Hong Kong Government's Commission on Strategic Development is scheduled to issue new proposals to reform the Chief Executive and Legislative Council electoral mechanisms, with the 'ultimate aim' of universal suffrage as prescribed by the Basic Law.

Principal Government Officials
Chief Executive--Donald Tsang
Chief Secretary for Administration--Henry Tang
Financial Secretary--John Tsang
Secretary for Justice--Wong Yan Lung, SC
Secretary for Education--Michael Suen
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development--Frederick Ma
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs--Stephen Lam
Secretary for Security--Ambrose Lee
Secretary for Food and Health--York Chow
Secretary for the Civil Service--Denise Yue
Secretary for Home Affairs--Tsang Tak-sing
Secretary for Labour and Welfare--Matthew Cheung
Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury--K C Chan
Secretary for Development--Carrie Lam
Secretary for the Environment--Edward Yau
Secretary for Transport and Housing--Eva Cheng


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Current Time - Ranking Positions - Hong Kong Dollar Exchange Rates
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Current Time
Ranking Positions
Hong Kong Dollar Exchange Rates


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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