The Establishment of the Provisional Legislative Council

       The decision to establish the Provisional Legislative Council (PLC) was made by resolution at the Second Plenary Session of the Preparatory Committee for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on 24 March 1996. The Preparatory Committee, formally set up on 26 January 1996 and comprising 150 members with 94 from Hong Kong and 56 from the mainland, is responsible for matters relating to the preparation for the establishment of the HKSAR, in accordance with the decision of the National People's Congress on the Method for the Formation of the First Government and the First Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on 4 April 1990.

       According to the decision of the Preparatory Committee on 24 March 1996, the PLC shall be established and start operation after the First Chief Executive of the HKSAR is elected. It shall cease to operate after the First Legislative Council of the HKSAR is formed, and its term shall not extend beyond 30 June 1998.

       The decision of the Preparatory Committee on 24 March 1996 also stipulates that the PLC shall have 60 Members, who are all permanent residents of Hong Kong. Up to 12 Members can be of a nationality other than Chinese nationality or have the right of abode in foreign countries. This is also in conformity with Article 67 of Basic Law of the HKSAR.

       The decision also provides that Members of the PLC shall be elected by a 400-member Selection Committee for the First Government of the Special Administrative Region, which also elects the First Chief Executive. The specific arrangements shall be made by the Preparatory Committee.

       Members of the PLC must uphold the Basic Law of the HKSAR of the People's Republic of China, pledge allegiance to the HKSAR of People's Republic of China and meet the requirements set forth in the Basic Law.

       On 2 November 1996, the 400 members of the Selection Committee, composed entirely of permanent residents of Hong Kong, were elected by members of the Preparatory Committee from 5,789 candidates representing four sectors of the community: industrial, commercial and financial sectors; the professions; labour, grass-roots, religious and other sectors; and former political figures, Hong Kong deputies to the National People's Congress, and representatives of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

       The 60 Members of the PLC were elected by the Selection Committee on 21 December 1996 from 134 candidates. The candidacy for the PLC and the Selection Committee were totally open. Persons who satisfy the basic requirements are free to participate.

       On 10 March 1997, at the Fifth Session of the Eighth National People's Congress, Vice-Premier Mr. Qian Qichen, Chairman of the Preparatory Committee, presented a report on the work of the Preparatory Committee, highlighting that the establishment of the PLC was within the scope of power delegated to the Preparatory Committee by the National People's Congress. On 14 March 1997, the National People's Congress passed a resolution approving the report.