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Hong Kong: Hong Kong Government Profile 2012






Hong Kong Government Profile 2012

Government type: 

limited democracy

Administrative divisions: 


none (special administrative region of China)

National holiday: 

National Day (Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China), 1 October (1949); note - 1 July 1997 is celebrated as Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day


Basic Law, approved in March 1990 by China's National People's Congress, is Hong Kong's "mini-constitution"

Legal system: 

based on English common law


direct election - 18 years of age for half the legislature and a majority of seats in 18 district councils; universal for permanent residents living in the territory of Hong Kong for the past seven years; indirect election - limited to about 220,000 members of functional constituencies for the other half of the legislature and an 800-member election committee for the chief executive drawn from broad regional groupings, central government bodies, and municipal organizations

Legislative branch: 

unicameral Legislative Council or LegCo (60 seats; 30 seats indirectly elected by functional constituencies, 30 elected by popular vote; members serve four-year terms) elections: last held 7 September 2008 (next to be held in September 2012)

Judicial branch: 

Court of Final Appeal in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

Political parties and leaders : 

Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood or ADPL [LIU Sung Lee]; Civic Party [KUAN Hsin-chi]; Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong or DAB [TAM Yiu Cheng]; Democratic Party [Albert HO Chun-yan]; League of Social Democrats [Raymond WONG Yuk-man]; Liberal Party [Miriam LAU Kin-yee] note: political blocs include: pro-democracy - ADPL, Civic Party; Democratic Party, League of Social Democrats; pro-Beijing - DAB, Liberal Party, The Professional Forum (an informal group of three generally pro-government and pro-business LegCo members from functional constituencies and one independent elected from a geographic constituency); there is no political party ordinance, so there are no registered political parties; politically active groups register as societies or companies

Political pressure groups and leaders: 

Chinese General Chamber of Commerce (pro-China); Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong; Confederation of Trade Unions or CTU (pro-democracy) [LAU Chin-shek, president; LEE Cheuk-yan, general secretary]; Federation of Hong Kong Industries; Federation of Trade Unions or FTU (pro-China) [CHENG Yiu-tong, executive councilor]; Hong Kong Alliance in Support of the Patriotic Democratic Movement in China [Szeto WAH, chairman]; Hong Kong and Kowloon Trade Union Council (pro-Taiwan); Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce; Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union [CHEUNG Man-kwong, president]; Neighborhood and Workers' Service Center or NWSC [LEUNG Yiu-chung, LegCo member] (pro-democracy); Civic Act-up [Cyd HO Sau-lan, LegCo member] (pro-democracy)

International organization participation: 

ADB, APEC, BIS, ICC, IHO, IMF, IMO (associate), IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITUC, UNWTO (associate), UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WMO, WTO

Flag description: 

red with a stylized, white, five-petal bauhinia flower in the center