Elections in Hong Kong
Elections in Hong Kong take place when certain political offices in the government need to be filled. Every four years, ninety representatives are chosen to sit on the unicameral Legislative Council of Hong Kong. Twenty seats representing the geographical constituencies are returned by the electorate, thirty seats representing the functional constituencies are elected through smaller closed elections within business sectors, and the remaining forty seats representing the Election Committee constituency are chosen by members of the Election Committee.
Politics and government|
of Hong Kong
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Following the 2019–2020 Hong Kong protests, and the landslide victory of Hong Kong's pro-democracy camp in the 2019 Hong Kong local elections, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China unilaterally passed the Hong Kong national security law and changes to Annex I and Annex II of the Hong Kong Basic Law to prevent pro-democracy activists from being able to participate in future elections and curtail the influence of the public's vote on the outcome.
Hong Kong has a (de jure) multi-party system, with numerous parties in which not one party often has the chance of gaining power alone. The Chief Executive of Hong Kong is nonpartisan, but has to work with several parties to form (de facto) a coalition government. In practice, every candidate approved to run for election to the Legislative Council is either a member of the pro-Beijing camp or has otherwise been deemed "patriotic" enough by the government of China to participate. Since the 2021 reforms, numerous pro-democracy activists who had attempted to run in elections were arrested.
Any Hong Kong permanent resident aged 18 or above may register as an elector in the geographical constituency in which they reside, except those mentally incapacitated and those serving in an armed force. Persons serving a sentence of imprisonment used to be barred from registering and voting, but a 2008 judgment by the Court of First Instance of the High Court ruled that a blanket bar was unconstitutional and that the Government had a year to change the offending provisions. The Government did not appeal the judgment, and held consultations with the public on how the law should be changed. A bill was then introduced to the LegCo, providing that no person would be barred from electoral registration or voting because of criminal conviction, even for crimes against the electoral system. It became law and entered into force on 30 October 2009.
From late 2003 on, the Government and the public had been drawing out plans of democratisation with the ultimate aim of electing a chief executive by universal suffrage after nomination by an ad hoc committee (Basic Law, Art. 45) and electing the whole Legislative Council by universal suffrage (Basic Law, Art. 68). In late 2007, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress decided that the former can be achieved in 2017 or later, and the latter can be achieved after the former has been. However, in lieu of recent efforts by China to hamper the pro-democracy camp, universal suffrage remains unlikely.