A municipal council is the legislative body of a municipality such as a city council or a town council.
In spite of enormous differences in populations, each of the communes of the French Republic possesses a mayor (French: maire) and a municipal council (French: conseil municipal), which manage the commune from the mairie (city hall), with exactly the same powers no matter the size of the commune and council. The one exception is the city of Paris, where the city police is in the hands of the central state, not in the hands of the mayor of Paris. This uniformity of status is a clear legacy of the French Revolution, which wanted to do away with the local idiosyncrasies and tremendous differences of status that existed in the kingdom of France.
The size of a commune still matters, however, in two domains: French law determines the size of the municipal council according to the population of the commune; and the size of the population determines which voting process is used for the election of the municipal council.
Established as the Sanitary Board in 1883, the Municipal Council in Hong Kong Island and Kowloon (including the New Kowloon) provided municipal services to the covered regions in the then British Hong Kong. Partial elections were allowed in 1887, though merely enabling selected persons to vote for members of the Board. The Board was reconstituted in 1935 and hence renamed as Urban Council in the following year after the government had passed the Urban Council Ordinance. Democratisation had been implemented, allowing universal suffrage to happen throughout its development. Two years after the Transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong, the Council was disbanded in 1999 by the then Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. All members of the council were elected through universal suffrage by the time of the dissolution.
The counterpart of the Municipal Council serving the New Territories (excluding New Kowloon) was the Regional Council established as the Provisional Regional Council in 1986. The functional select committees, district committees, and sub-committees constituted the entire Regional Council. All members were elected from the constituencies and district boards.
Both of the Municipal Councils in Hong Kong are now defunct.
- See Nagar Palika for municipalities of India.
The Municipal Council in Moldova is the governing body in five municipalities: Chișinău, Bălți, Tiraspol and Bendery (also known as Tighina or Bender). The Municipal Council (Moldovan language: Consiliul municipal) serves as a consultative body with some powers of general policy determination. It is composed of a legally determined number of counsellors (for example 35 in Bălți) elected every four years, representing political parties and independent counsellors. Once elected, counsellors may form fractions inside of the Municipal Council.
Last regional elections of local public administration held in Bălți in June 2007, brought to the power the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM), which holds 21 mandates, 11 mandates are held by representatives of other parties, and 3 mandates by independents. There are two fractions in the Municipal Council: PCRM fraction (21 counsellors) and "Meleag" fraction (3 independent counsellors and 4 representatives of different parties).
The Mayor of the municipality is elected for four years. In Bălți, Vasile Panciuc (PCRM) is the incumbent from 2001 and was re-elected twice: in 2003 during the anticipated elections (as a result of a new reform of the administrative division in Moldova in 2003), and in 2007. In Chișinău, the last mayor elections had to be repeated three times, because of the low rate of participation. As a result, Dorin Chirtoacă (Liberal Party), won the last mayor elections in Chișinău.
In the Netherlands the municipal council (Dutch: gemeenteraad) is the elected assembly of the municipality. It consists of between 9 and 45 members (as determined by law) who are elected by the citizens once every four years.
The council's main tasks are setting the city's policies and overseeing the execution of those policies by the municipality's executive board.
The municipal council (Norwegian: Kommunestyre) , literally municipal board , is the highest governing body of the municipality in Norway. The municipal council sets the scope of municipal activity, takes major decisions, and delegates responsibility. The council is led by a mayor (ordfører) s divided into an executive council (formannskap) and a number of committees, each responsible for a subsection of tasks. It is not uncommon for some members of the council to sit in the county councils too, but very rare that they also hold legislative (Storting) or Government office, without leave of absence.
The municipal council dates back to 1837 with the creation of the Formannskabsdistrikt. In cities the council is often called a city council (bystyre).
In the Republic of China, a municipal council represents a special municipality. Members of the councils are elected through municipal elections held every 4-5 years.
Councils for the special municipalities in Taiwan are Taipei City Council, New Taipei City Council, Taichung City Council, Tainan City Council, Kaohsiung City Council and Taoyuan City Council.