Provisional Legislative Council

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Provisional Legislative Council
of Hong Kong
President of the Provisional Legislative Council
Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, Independent
since 25 Jan 1997
Seats 60
Meeting place
Shenzhen Guesthouse Hotel (September-January 1996)
Huaxia Art Centre (February-June 1997)
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (July 1, 1997)
Legislative Council Building (July 1, 1997-present)

The Provisional Legislative Council or the PLC (Chinese: 臨時立法會, frequently abbreviated to 臨立會) was the interim legislature of Hong Kong from 1997 to 1998. The legislature was founded in Guangzhou and sat in Shenzhen from 1996 (with offices in Hong Kong) until the handover in 1997 and moved to Hong Kong to serves as the temporary replacement of Legislative Council of Hong Kong. It was established by the Preparatory Committee for HKSAR by resolution at its Second Plenary Session on 24 March 1996. The 60 members in PLC were elected on 21 December 1996 by the 400-member Selection Committee for the First Government of the HKSAR, which also elected the first Chief Executive. Official start date for this council was on 25 Jan 1997.[1]


The Provisional Legco was set up in 1996 by the People's Republic of China (PRC) to serve as a provisional legislature of Hong Kong, after the proposal package of electoral changes for the 1995 Legislative Council elections that was deemed unconstitutional by the PRC was passed in the Legislative Council. It was believed that the formation of the council according to the proposal by the government of Chris Patten, then governor, favoured pro-democracy candidates.

Legislative Council Building[edit]

For the first five months, the PLC met in one of the conference halls at the Shenzhen Guesthouse Hotel. From 1 July 1997 to 1998 it sat at Legislative Council Building in Hong Kong.

Council committees and the Legco Secretariat sat at various locations:

The Council held 60 meetings, 17 motions and passed 13 bills introduced by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong.

The Legco Secretariat offices were on the 3 floor of the Huaxia Art Centre.


The 60-member Provisional Legislative Council was elected in 1996 by block vote by the 400 member Selection Committee, an electoral college handpicked by the PRC. It met in the city of Shenzhen across the border, until it replaced the Legislative Council upon the transfer of sovereignty. The term of the PLC lasted until the first legislative elections in 1998.

Until the handover, the PLC had no legal standing in Hong Kong and acted as a transition body for the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

In the first five months prior to the handover, the PLC was involved in transition work towards replacing the British legislature:

  • devising a new electoral system to govern polls for the SAR’s first Legislative
  • appointment of top judges to Hong Kong's new courts
  • review and sanction of the 1997-1998 budget
  • voting on proposals by the Preparatory Committee to amend or repeal some of the pre-existent Hong Kong laws

Members of the Provisional Legislative Council[edit]

Seating Arrangement[edit]

The PLC likely sat around a conference when it met at the Shenzhen Guesthouse Hotel. The President of the PLC sat at one end of the table.

After 30 June 1997, the members of the Legislative Council are seated to the left and front of the President's chair in the chambers. The three rows to the right are reserved for the secretaries and other civil servants of the government, and other people who appear in the meetings.

President of the Provisional Legislative Council[edit]

The president of the PLC was Rita Fan, who later led the legislative council following the handover.


Officers of the Provisional Legislative Council[edit]

The only officer found in the records was for the Clerk, Pauline Ng Man-Wah. Ng is now the Clerk of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong.

Standing Committees[edit]

  • Finance Committee
  • Public Accounts Committee
  • Committee of Members' Interest

Meeting Broadcast[edit]

Sessions of the PLC were broadcast with assistance from the Shenzhen Television Station.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ History of the Legco
  2. ^