HOW DO MEMBERS VOTE
LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL IN BRIEF    NO. 13

Decisions of the Legislative Council on bills and motions are made by voting of its Members. The voting procedures are stipulated in Annex II of the Basic Law and the Rules of Procedure of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region ("RoP").

VOTING ON BILLS AND MOTIONS

Unless otherwise provided for in the Basic Law and RoP, the Legislative Council shall adopt the following procedures for voting on motions, bills or amendments:

Motions, bills or amendments introduced by the Government

The passage of motions, bills or amendments introduced by the Government shall require at least a simple majority vote of the Legislative Council Members present.

Motions, bills or amendments introduced by individual Members

The passage of motions, bills or amendments to Government bills introduced by individual Members shall require a simple majority vote of each of the following two groups of Members present: Members returned by functional constituencies and those returned by geographical constituencies through direct elections.

Voting of Members

When Members are voting on a/an motion, bill or amendment introduced by the Government in the Legislative Council or the committee of the whole Council:

(a)
the President of the Legislative Council ("the President") or the Chairman of the committee of the whole Council ("the Chairman") shall first call upon those Members who are in favour of the bill or motion to raise their hands, and shall then call upon those who are against the bill or motion to raise their hands;
(b)
the President or Chairman shall then, according to his or her judgment, state whether or not he or she thinks the required majority of the Members present are in favour of the bill or motion; and
(c)
if a Member challenges the statement of the President or Chairman by claiming a division, then the President or Chairman shall order the Legislative Council or committee of the whole Council to proceed to a division. Otherwise, the President or Chairman shall declare the voting result.

As to motions, bills or amendments introduced by individual Members, the voting procedures involved are similar to those described above. However, the passage of the motions, bills or amendments concerned requires a majority of the following two groups of Members present: Members returned by functional constituencies and those returned by geographical constituencies through direct elections.

Use of electronic voting system

According to Rule 48 of RoP, unless the President or the Chairman of the committee of the whole Council otherwise directs, where an electronic system of voting is provided in the Legislative Council or the committee of the whole Council for the purpose of a division, the Members present and voting shall cast their votes in the division by using the electronic voting system. The President or Chairman shall then declare the result of the division after voting of the Members.

A voting panel is available at each Member's desk in the Legislative Council ChamberA voting panel is available at each Member's desk in the Legislative Council Chamber.

Legislative Council Secretariat
Education Service Team
www.legco.gov.hk
Mar 2017

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