Legislative Council of Hong Kong - History


The Legislative Council of Hong Kong was set up in 1843 as a colonial legislature under British rule. Hong Kong's first constitution, in the form of Queen Victoria's Letters Patent which was entitled the Charter of the Colony of Hong Kong, authorized the establishment of the Legislative Council to advise the Governor's administration. The Council had four Official members when it was first established.

The first direct elections of the Legislative Council were held in 1991. The Legislative Council became a fully elected legislature for the first time in its history in 1995.

To prepare for the handover of the sovereignty of Hong Kong from the British government to the Chinese government, a Provisional Legislative Council was established by the Preparatory Committee for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) under the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China in 1996. The Provisional Legislative Council, in operation from January 1997 to June 1998, initially held its meetings in Shenzhen. The Legislative Council of the HKSAR was established in 1998 under The Basic Law of the HKSAR. The first meeting of the Council was held in July of the same year in Hong Kong. Since The Basic Law came into effect, four Legislative Council elections have been held, with the most recent election being held in September 2008. A by-election was held in May 2010. The fifth election is being held on 9 September 2012. (Xinhua)

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