President of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_of_the_Legislative_Council_of_Hong_Kong

President of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong
Andrew Leung 2017.jpg
Andrew Leung

since 12 October 2016
StyleThe Honourable (尊貴的)
NominatorLegislative Council
AppointerLegislative Council
Term lengthFour years, renewable
PrecursorGovernor of Hong Kong
Inaugural holderJohn Joseph Swaine
Formation19 February 1993; 29 years ago (1993-02-19)
SalaryHK$2,400,000 annually[1]
President of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong
Traditional Chinese香港特別行政區立法會主席

The president of the Legislative Council is the presiding officer of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong. According to the Article 71 of the Hong Kong Basic Law, the president of the Legislative Council is elected by and from among Legislative Council members, plays the presiding role, administrative role and ceremonial role, and ensures the smooth conduct of the Legislative Council meetings.[2]


From the establishment of the council in 1843 to 1993, the president of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong was the governor. In 1991, a deputy president, John Joseph Swaine, was appointed by the governor from among the non-official members to chair the sittings. The governor remained president and member, but systematically absented himself from most of the sittings. In February 1993, the governor ceased to be member and president of the council. The presidency was handed over to a member elected from among the unofficial members.


Under the current system, the president shall be a Chinese citizen and permanent resident of Hong Kong SAR of not less than 40 years of age, with no right of abode in any foreign country and has ordinarily resided in Hong Kong for continuous period of not less than 20 years.[2]


Under the Article 66 to 79 in the Basic Law, the Legislative Council Commission Ordinance Cap. 443, the Legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance Cap. 382 and the Rules of Procedure of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (RoP), the President performs the following roles in the council:

Presiding role[edit]

  • The president presides over council meetings and ensures that businesses are transacted in an orderly way during the council meetings. In the absence of the president, the chairman of the House Committee serves as deputy to the president.
  • The president determines the day and hours of the meetings and may change the agenda, suspend a meeting, or call a special meeting, or adjourn the Legislative Council.[2]
  • The president shall call emergency meetings at the request of the chief executive.
  • The president is responsible for the observance of the rules of order in the Legislative Council. Decisions on a point of order shall be final.[2]

Primacy of President[edit]

In a controversial move directed at reining in democratic legislators (most of whom were elected by universal suffrage and six of whose seats had been vacated by a controversial court order of disqualification), amendments to the Rules of Procedure were passed on 15 December 2017 giving sweeping powers to the president to control the business of the legislature. Among them is the power to vet proposed motions and amendments to bills, require legislators to explain them and to reject or merge them. Prior notice must be given of any notice of motion and the .resident may reconvene the chamber immediately after any failure to meet quorum.[3] Under the undemocratic election system of the legislature, the role of president has been occupied by a pro-Beijing legislator since 1 July 1997.

Administrative role[edit]

The president is also the chairman of the Legislative Council Commission, a statutory body and provides administrative support and services for the Legislative Council and its members through the Legislative Council secretariat.

The Legislative Council Commission determines the organization and administration of support services and facilities, formulate and execute policies on their effective operation and expand funds in ways it see fit to support these activities.[2]

Ceremonial role[edit]

The president is accorded the sixth place in the official precedence list following the chief executive, the chief justice of the Court of Final Appeal, the chief secretary for Administration, the financial secretary and the secretary for justice. He or she is the representative of the Legislative Council on ceremonial and formal occasions.[2]

List of presidents[edit]

British Colonial period (1843–1941)[edit]

Before 1993, the Legislative Council was presided over by the Governor of Hong Kong.

Japanese occupation period (1941–1945)[edit]

From 25 December 1941 to 30 August 1945, the office was suspended due to the Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong. The representative advisory bodies during the time were the Chinese Representative Council and Chinese Cooperative Council.

Restoration to British rule (1946–1997)[edit]

Until 1993, the legislative council was presided over by the governor of Hong Kong. Between 1991 and 1993, a deputy president, John Joseph Swaine, was appointed by the then-governor David Wilson to chair the meetings in his absence. The governor then only attended the first session in October every year to present his policy address and gave a farewell speech to the members of the council before he left office. The president was elected among non-official members of the legislative council from 1993 onwards after the last governor Chris Patten having given up the presidency that year.

No. Portrait Name
Term of office Political Party Constituency Election
Took office Left office Duration
Sir John Joseph Swaine


19 February 1993 30 September 1995 2 years, 223 days Nonpartisan Appointed
Andrew Wong in 2018 (cropped).png Andrew Wong

(born 1943)

11 October 1995 30 June 1997 1 year, 262 days Nonpartisan New Territories Southeast 1995

Provisional Legislative Council (1997–1998)[edit]

No. Portrait Name
Term of office Political Party
Took office Left office Duration
Rita Fan.jpg Rita Fan

(born 1945)

2 July 1997 30 June 1998 363 days Nonpartisan

SAR Legislative Council (1998–present)[edit]

No. Portrait Name
Term of office Political Party Constituency Assembly
Took office Left office Duration
1 Rita Fan.jpg Rita Fan

(born 1945)

2 July 1998 30 September 2000 14 years, 81 days Nonpartisan
Election Committee 1st
4 October 2000 30 September 2004 2nd
6 October 2004 30 September 2008 Hong Kong Island 3rd
2 Tsang Yok Sing Photo.JPG Jasper Tsang

(born 1947)

8 October 2008 30 September 2012 7 years, 347 days DAB
Hong Kong Island 4th
10 October 2012 30 September 2016 5th
3 Andrew Leung.JPG Andrew Leung

(born 1951)

12 October 2016 31 December 2021 5 years, 358 days BPA
Industrial (First) 6th
4 January 2022 Incumbent 7th


  1. ^ "Explanatory Note on Remuneration Package for Legislative Council Members" (PDF). LegCo.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Legislative Council In Brief No. 2/2012-13", Legislative Council of Hong Kong
  3. ^ Cheng, Kris (15 December 2017). "Hong Kong legislature passes controversial house rule changes taking powers from lawmakers". Hong Kong Free Press. Retrieved 16 December 2017.