HONG KONG, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Voting for a new chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) took place Sunday morning at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center.
The following are the powers and obligations of the HKSAR chief executive as prescribed in the Basic Law of the HKSAR.
As the head of the HKSAR, the chief executive shall represent the HKSAR and be accountable to the central government and the HKSAR in accordance with the provisions of the Basic Law.
The term of office of the chief executive shall be five years. He or she may serve for no more than two consecutive terms.
The HKSAR chief executive must be a person of integrity, dedicated to his or her duties. On assuming office, the chief executive shall declare his or her assets to the chief justice of the HKSAR Court of Final Appeal, and this declaration shall be put on record.
Besides leading the HKSAR government and being responsible for the implementation of the Basic Law and other laws in the HKSAR in accordance with the Basic Law, the chief executive shall also exercise powers and functions such as to sign bills and budgets passed by the Legislative Council (LegCo) and to approve the introduction of motions regarding revenues or expenditure to the LegCo.
If the chief executive considers that a bill passed by the LegCo is not compatible with the overall interests of the HKSAR, he or she may return it to the LegCo within three months for reconsideration. If consensus cannot be reached after consultations between the chief executive and the LegCo over a budget or an important bill, the chief executive may dissolve the LegCo, but only once in each term of his or her office.
The chief executive has the power to nominate and report to the central government for appointment or removal of multiple principal officials of the HKSAR. He or she can also appoint or remove judges of the courts at all levels, as well as holders of public office, in accordance with legal procedures.
The chief executive's functions also include: to implement directives issued by the central government in respect of the relevant matters provided for in the Basic Law; to conduct on behalf of the HKSAR government external affairs and other affairs as authorized by the central authorities; to pardon persons convicted of criminal offences or commute their penalties; and to handle petitions and complaints.
Before making important policy decisions, introducing bills to the LegCo, making subordinate legislation, or dissolving the LegCo, the chief executive shall consult the Executive Council, an organ for assisting him or her in policy-making. This council shall be presided over by the chief executive, and its members' appointment or removal shall also be decided by him or her.
The HKSAR has two independent commissions, the Commission Against Corruption and the Commission of Audit. They shall function independently and be accountable to the chief executive.