National People's Congress of China | Constitutional Law Notes

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 02:03 -- Umar Farooq

National People's Congress of China

The Constitution of People Republic of China (PRC) declares that there is a unicameral legislature to be known as National People Congress (NPC). It is the highest organ of state authority and sole legislative assembly in China. It is repository of all powers and authority in the state and people exercise their power through it:

Chapter III of the constitution described the organization, composition, nature and powers of the National People Congress. It consists of deputies directly elected by provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities, the armed forces and the Chinese residing abroad. The number and manner of their elections are not given in the constitution but are described by electoral laws.

Composition of People Congress of China

The National People Congress is compose of 1000 deputies who are elected by the provinces on the basis of one deputy for every 8,000 men, by municipality directly under the control with a population of more than 50,000 and by an industrial, unit directly under the control of provincial government With a population of more than 100,000. The national minorities elect 150 deputies and the armed forces elect 60 deputies. The deputies from a province shall not be less than three.

Privileges

The deputies, as in other legislatures in the world enjoy some privileges. They cannot be arrested or placed on trial without the consent of the Congress and if the Congress is not in session, of its Standing Committee. The deputies are subject to the supervision of units responsible for their election. And if the work of any deputy is not satisfactory, that deputy may be recalled by the concerned unit according to the procedure prescribed by law.

Elections of People Congress of China

All the deputies are elected by the Provincial and Municipal Congress. All Chinese citizens of 18 years have the rights to elect and to be elected irrespective of nationality, sex, race, occupation, religion, education, property, social origin, status or residence. Every voter has one vote. However, the landlords, counter revolutionaries and insane persons are deprived of political rights.

Tenure

According to Article-60 the constitution the National People Congress is elected for a period or 4 years. But if the election becomes impossible because of exceptional circumstances the term of office of sitting Congress may be extended until the first session of the new Congress. (2 months before its term the elections of new deputies are completed by the standing committee of National People Congress).

Session

Its session is convened once a year by a Standing Committee But an additional session may be convened whenever the Standing Committee thinks necessary or when 1/5th of the deputies so demand. (Sittings of the Congress are public, but secret meetings may be held when necessary and when the congress so resolves).

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