The Legislative Council or Legco

On Sunday, 3.7 million Hong Kongers will cast their ballots to vote for their legislators in the city's Parliament or Legislative Council (Legco). Here is a look at its composition and role.

COMPOSITION OF LEGCO

•The 70 seats are equally divided into two blocs - geographical and functional constituencies.

•Thirty-five lawmakers represent the city's five geographical constituencies - Hong Kong Island, Kowloon East, Kowloon West, New Territories East and New Territories West. Eligible voters totalling 3.7 million will each cast one vote in the constituency they live in.

•The other 35 seats are allocated to occupation-based "functional constituencies". Of these, 30 seats are elected by designated persons and corporations - 233,000 voters this time around.

•The other five functional constituency seats, known as "Super Seats", are elected by eligible voters, excluding the 233,000 designated voters. The contenders for these seats must be nominated by about 400 elected members of the city's 18 district councils.

ROLE OF LEGCO

•The key roles of the Legco are to enact, amend or repeal laws, examine and approve budgets, taxation and public expenditure; and raise questions on the work of the government. Any motion must be passed by a majority of each bloc voting separately.

•The Legco is also given the power to endorse the appointment and removal of the judges of the Court of Final Appeal and the Chief Judge of the High Court, as well as the power to impeach the Chief Executive.

•At least 47 votes - a two-third majority - are needed to pass any political reform that requires Constitutional change.

•Any Constitutional change can be vetoed by a one-third vote. In the last Legco polls in 2012, pan-democrats won 27 of the 70 seats to retain veto power.


Joyce Lim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 30, 2016, with the headline 'The Legislative Council or Legco'. Print Edition | Subscribe