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Dissolution of the Assembly

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

On August 1, 2012, the Lieutenant-General dissolved the National Assembly. Consequently, a general election will be held on Tuesday, September 4, 2012. The dissolution of the Assembly ended the 39th Legislature.

At the time of dissolution, the seats were divided as follows:

  • Québec Liberal Party (leader: Jean Charest): 64 seats.
  • Parti québécois (leader: Pauline Marois): 47 seats.
  • Independants
    • Coalition avenir Québec: 9 seats.
    • Option nationale: 1 seat.
    • Québec solidaire: 1 seat.
    • Others: 2 seats.
  • Vacant seat: 1 (Bourassa-Sauvé).


Dissolution is an act by which the Government, through the Lieutenant-Governor, ends the term of office of the MNAs and brings about a general election. Dissolution brings to a close not only the session but also the Legislature.
On a decision by the Government, the Cabinet adopts 2 orders:

  • the first to order dissolution of the Assembly and summon a new Assembly
  • the second to order a general election

Accordingly, the Lieutenant-Governor issues proclamations ordering that the National Assembly, be dissolved, a general election be held and a new Assembly be summoned.

The date for which the new Assembly is summoned may subsequently be changed again by means of a government order followed by a proclamation by the Lieutenant-Governor.


  • terminates all business of the Assembly, including the consideration of bills
  • is followed by a general election

No further sittings are held before the Assembly is summoned by the Lieutenant-Governor.

Effect of Dissolution on the Work of Parliamentary Committees

Dissolution terminates the orders of the committees, including the consideration of bills. Committees hold no further meetings before the start of the new Legislature.

Effect of Dissolution on MNAs

On dissolution, the Assembly ceases to exist and the MNAs cease to hold office.

However, the following persons remain in office:

the President and Vice-Presidents of the Assembly, until their successors are elected during the first sitting of the new Legislature
the Premier and his or her ministers, until the swearing in of the new Cabinet (this ceremony generally takes place in the days immediately following the general election).