The Chief Executive

The Chief Executive

- Constitution of Hong Kong

Section 1: The Chief Executive

Article 43
The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be the head of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and shall represent the Region.
The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be accountable to the Central People's Government and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in accordance with the provisions of this Law.
Article 44
The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be a Chinese citizen of not less than 40 years of age who is a permanent resident of the Region with no right of abode in any foreign country and has ordinarily resided in Hong Kong for a continuous period of not less than 20 years.
Article 45
The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be selected by election or through consultations held locally and be appointed by the Central People's Government.
The method for selecting the Chief Executive shall be specified in the light of the actual situation in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and in accordance with the principle of gradual and orderly progress. The ultimate aim is the selection of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures.
The specific method for selecting the Chief Executive is prescribed in Annex I: "Method for the Selection of the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region".
Article 46
The term of office of the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be five years. He or she may serve for not more than two consecutive terms.
Article 47
The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region must be a person of integrity, dedicated to his or her duties.
The Chief Executive, on assuming office, shall declare his or her assets to the Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. This declaration shall be put on record.
Article 48
The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall exercise the following powers and functions:
(1) To lead the government of the Region;
(2) To be responsible for the implementation of this Law and other laws which, in accordance with this Law, apply in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region;
(3) To sign bills passed by the Legislative Council and to promulgate laws; To sign budgets passed by the Legislative Council and report the budgets and final accounts to the Central People's Government for the record;
(4) To decide on government policies and to issue executive orders;
(5) To nominate and to report to the Central People's Government for appointment the following principal officials: Secretaries and Deputy Secretaries of Departments, Directors of Bureaux, Commissioner Against Corruption, Director of Audit, Commissioner of Police, Director of Immigration and Commissioner of Customs and Excise; and to recommend to the Central People's Government the removal of the above-mentioned officials;
(6) To appoint or remove judges of the courts at all levels in accordance with legal procedures;
(7) To appoint or remove holders of public office in accordance with legal procedures;
(8) To implement the directives issued by the Central People's Government in respect of the relevant matters provided for in this Law;
(9) To conduct, on behalf of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, external affairs and other affairs as authorized by the Central Authorities;
(10) To approve the introduction of motions regarding revenues or expenditure to the Legislative Council;
(11) To decide, in the light of security and vital public interests, whether government officials or other personnel in charge of government affairs should testify or give evidence before the Legislative Council or its committees;
(12) To pardon persons convicted of criminal offences or commute their penalties; and
(13) To handle petitions and complaints.
Article 49
If the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region considers that a bill passed by the Legislative Council is not compatible with the overall interests of the Region, he or she may return it to the Legislative Council within three months for reconsideration. If the Legislative Council passes the original bill again by not less than a two-thirds majority of all the members, the Chief Executive must sign and promulgate it within one month, or act in accordance with the provisions of Article 50 of this Law.
Article 50
If the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region refuses to sign a bill passed the second time by the Legislative Council, or the Legislative Council refuses to pass a budget or any other important bill introduced by the government, and if consensus still cannot be reached after consultations, the Chief Executive may dissolve the Legislative Council.
The Chief Executive must consult the Executive Council before dissolving the Legislative Council. The Chief Executive may dissolve the Legislative Council only once in each term of his or her office.
Article 51
If the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region refuses to pass the budget introduced by the government, the Chief Executive may apply to the Legislative Council for provisional appropriations. If appropriation of public funds cannot be approved because the Legislative Council has already been dissolved, the Chief Executive may, prior to the election of the new Legislative Council approve provisional short-term appropriations according to the level of expenditure of the previous fiscal year.
Article 52
The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region must resign under any of the following circumstances:
(1) When he or she loses the ability to discharge his or her duties as a result of serious illness or other reasons;
(2) When, after the Legislative Council is dissolved because he or she twice refuses to sign a bill passed by it, the new Legislative Council again passes by a two-thirds majority of all the members the original bill in dispute, but he or she still refuses to sign it; and
(3) When, after the Legislative Council is dissolved because it refuses to pass a budget or any other important bill, the new Legislative Council still refuses to pass the original bill in dispute.
Article 53
If the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is not able to discharge his or her duties for a short period, such duties shall temporarily be assumed by the Administrative Secretary, Financial Secretary or Secretary of Justice in this order of precedence.
In the event that the office of Chief Executive becomes vacant, a new Chief Executive shall be selected within six months in accordance with the provisions of Article 45 of this Law. During the period of vacancy, his or her duties shall be assumed according to the provisions of the preceding paragraph.
Article 54
The Executive Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be an organ for assisting the Chief Executive in policy- making.
Article 55
Members of the Executive Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be appointed by the Chief Executive from among the principal officials of the executive authorities, members of the Legislative Council and public figures. Their appointment or removal shall be decided by the Chief Executive. The term of office of members of the Executive Council shall not extend beyond the expiry of the term of office of the Chief Executive who appoints them.
Members of the Executive Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be Chinese citizens who are permanent residents of the Region with no right of abode in any foreign country.
The Chief Executive may, as he or she deems necessary, invite other persons concerned to sit in on meetings of the Council.
Article 56
The Executive Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be presided over by the Chief Executive.
Except for the appointment, removal and disciplining of officials and the adoption of measures in emergencies, the Chief Executive shall consult the Executive Council before making important policy decisions, introducing bills to the Legislative Council, making subordinate legislation, or dissolving the Legislative Council.
If the Chief Executive does not accept a majority opinion of the Executive Council, he or she shall put the specific reasons on record.
Article 57
A Commission Against Corruption shall be established in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It shall function independently and be accountable to the Chief Executive.
Article 58
A Commission of Audit shall be established in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It shall function independently and be accountable to the Chief Executive.

Constitution of Hong Kong

Preamble
General Principles
Authorities and Administrative Region
Fundamental Rights and Duties
Political Structure
The Chief Executive
The Executive Authorities
The Legislature
The Judiciary
District Organizations
Public Servants
Economy
Public Finance Industry and Commerce
Land Leases
Shipping
Civil Aviation
Education Science Culture and Social Services
External Affairs
Interpretation and Amendment of the Basic Law
Supplementary Provisions
Selection of the Chief
Formation of the Legislative Council
Laws to be Applied in the Hong Kong
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