01.05.03. Elections | Hong Kong SAR

01.05.03. Elections | Hong Kong SAR

16 Aug 2022

Although Hong Kong has a high degree of autonomy, universal suffrage is currently only granted in District Council elections, and in elections for half of the Legislative Council. The Chief Executive of Hong Kong is elected through an electoral college with the majority of its members elected by a limited number of voters mainly within business and professional sectors.

Chief Executive election

The Chief Executive electione are held every 5 years, with the last one (5th term) held on 26 March 2017. It is elected by a broadly representative Election Committee (EC), which is composed of 1,200 members under 38 subsectors, comprising (a) 1,034 members of 35 subsectors who are returned through elections; (b) 106 ex-officio members (i.e., Hong Kong deputies of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and Members of the Legislative Council (LegCo) under the NPC subsector and the LegCo subsector); and (c) 60 members under the Religious subsector who are nominated by six designated bodies. The term of office is 5 years and will commence on the 1st of February of the same year. The next election will be held in the year of 2022  (Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau, 2019, April 30).

Legislative Council election

The Legislative Council election is held every 4 years, with the last one held on 4 September 2016 and followed by two by-elections respectively held on the 11th of March and on the 25th of November 2018. It is composed of 70 members, of which 35 are elected directly by geographical constituencies and 35 are elected by functional constituencies (including five elected by the District Council (second) functional constituency). The next election will be held in the year of 2020 (HKSAR Government, 2019, May-b).

District Council election

The District Council election is held every 4 years, with the last one held on the 24th of November 2019. It is composed of 458 members under 18 District Councils, of which 431 are elected members and 27 are ex-officio members (i.e., Rural Committee Chairmen in the New Territories) (District Council Election 2015, 2015 September 22). The next election will be held in 2023 (Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau 2019, July 8).


Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau (2019, July 8). HKSAR District Council Election. Retrieved from https://www.cmab.gov.hk/en/issues/electoral3.htm

Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau. (2019, April 30). Chief Executive Election. Retrieved from https://www.cmab.gov.hk/en/issues/electoral1.htm

District Council Election 2015. (2015, September 22). District Council Brief. Retrieved from https://www.elections.gov.hk/dc2015/eng/dcbriefs.html#2

HKSAR Government. (2019, May-b). Government Structure. Retrieved from https://www.gov.hk/en/about/govdirectory/govstructure.htm