Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, USA
Hong Kong
News Release

Sixth-term Legislative Council to continue to discharge duties


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Melissa Ng in New York City: (212) 752 3320
Wing Yan Tong in San Francisco: (415) 835 9315

Daniel McAtee in Washington, D.C.: (202) 238 6360

August 11, 2020 - Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, today expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) for its decision for the sixth-term Legislative Council (LegCo) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to continue to discharge duties, resolving the problem of a lacuna in the legislature arising from the postponement of the election of the seventh-term LegCo for a year.

The HKSAR Government announced on July 31 that owing to the severe COVID-19 epidemic situation, the Chief Executive in Council decided to postpone the LegCo General Election, originally scheduled for September 6 this year, for a year in order to protect public safety and public health as well as ensure the election can be conducted openly and fairly. Article 69 of the Basic Law stipulates that the term of the LegCo shall be four years, except the first term which shall be two years. Therefore, the current term of the LegCo would end on September 30, 2020, and there would be a lacuna in the legislature of the HKSAR before the formation of the seventh-term LegCo. To resolve this problem, the Chief Executive, after the Executive Council had made the decision, submitted an urgent report to the Central People's Government seeking its support and guidance. The State Council subsequently replied and expressed support for the decision of the HKSAR Government to postpone the election of the seventh-term LegCo by one year, and stated that it would make a submission in accordance with the law to the NPCSC for a decision on the issue of the lacuna in the legislature. The Chief Executive explained in detail the grounds for the postponement of the election to the public on July 31.

“The NPCSC made an authoritative decision in accordance with the relevant provisions in the Constitution of the People's Republic of China and the Basic Law, fully resolving the issue of the lacuna in the legislature arising from the postponement of the election. It not only maintains the constitutional and legal order of the HKSAR, but also ensures the normal governance of the HKSAR Government and the normal operation of society. It demonstrates once again the care and support of the Central Government for the HKSAR,” Mrs Lam said.

According to the decision made by the NPCSC today, the sixth-term LegCo of the HKSAR will continue to discharge its duties for no less than one year until the commencement of the seventh-term LegCo. The decision also stated clearly that the seventh-term LegCo of the HKSAR will have a term of four years after it has been formed in accordance with the law.

The HKSAR Government will publish in the Gazette the decision of the NPCSC in due course. The HKSAR Government will also publish in the Gazette the withdrawal of the decision made by the Chief Executive earlier in accordance with section 6 of the Legislative Council Ordinance on the prorogation of the sixth-term LegCo, which was made having regard to the LegCo General Election. The withdrawal will enable the sixth-term LegCo to resume operation at an early juncture when necessary.

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