The Chief Executive is the head of the government in Hong Kong, but he/she is not publicly voted for, but rather is chosen by an election committee. In some ways, this is like a democracy, but in others, it is not. As a result, what form of government is Hong Kong most like?

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    If direct elections of the chief executive were required for democracy, the United States and Brittan would also fail this test with respect to the President and Prime Minister respectively. Commented Jan 21, 2013 at 14:48

1 Answer 1


TL;DR: Impossible to classify in a proper way. It is a combination of a somewhat-Presidential-Republic (Chief Executive independent of Legislature), but constrained by the will of PRC in some ways, so it's not a full-on Democracy.

From http://www.basiclaw.gov.hk/en/basiclawtext/chapter_4.html

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.

So, from one angle, due to universal suffrage, it's a form of democracy.

From another angle, practically, it's NOT in force at the moment:

through interpretation of Basic Law by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, which ruled out the possibility of universal suffrage in 2007 and 2008 on 26 April 2004.


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