LCQ12:Basic Law provision under which the LegCo may be dissolved
Following is a question by the Hon Lee Wing-tat and a written reply by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, in the Legislative Council today (June 15):
Article 50 of the Basic Law stipulates that the Chief Executive (CE) may dissolve the Legislative Council (LegCo) only once in each term of his or her office. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
(a) "each term of his or her office" referred to in the article means the term of office of the CE stipulated in Article 46 of the Basic Law, i.e. five years, or the term of office of any person each time he is elected as the CE in a CE election, or has other interpretations; and
(b) the CE elected to fill a vacancy in the office of the CE which has arisen before the expiry of a five-year term has the power to dissolve the LegCo once under the article; if so, whether such power is affected by whether or not his/her predecessor(s) in the same term of office has(have) dissolved the LegCo?
Article 50 of the Basic Law (BL) prescribes the circumstances under which the Chief Executive (CE) may dissolve the Legislative Council (LegCo). The provision further stipulates that the CE may dissolve the LegCo only once in each term of his or her office. The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress has given an interpretation on BL53(2) that the term of office of the CE to be returned through the by-election is the remainder of the term of the preceding CE. There is a need to examine further how other BL provisions which touch upon the term of office of the CE should be understood. Apart from BL50 that deals with the dissolution of LegCo, other BL provisions that may be involved include BL46 which stipulates the maximum terms of office a CE may serve.
We will address these issues in the context of the review for the method for electing the CE in 2007, and report to LegCo about the Administration's position as appropriate.
Ends/Wednesday, June 15, 2005