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Deputy elections come under scrutiny

Cao Yin
Updated: Mar 12,2015 7:06 AM     China Daily

The election of deputies must be developed more strictly, in an attempt to ensure they are qualified and diversified, according to a deputy of China’s top legislature.

The makeup of deputies in some local legislatures is seriously unbalanced, or the number of grassroots ones, including farmers and workers, is far from enough, Wang Ercheng, a deputy of the National People’s Congress, said on March 11.

“Entrepreneurs have occupied most of the deputy quota in some regions in the country, and the identity of some deputies is not even true,” said Wang, also vice-minister of the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee.

“Some owners of enterprises even got their deputy nominations as workers, farmers and technical officers instead of their real identities, which caused the ones who really came from the grassroots areas not to be nominated,” he said.

This constitutes dereliction of duty of the Party’s organization departments in the regions, and it is necessary to urge them to play a role in deputy elections, he suggested during the third session of the 12th NPC.

Since 2013, 39 deputies have resigned or been removed from their post for violations or breach of Party discipline, according to Wang, who added that the figure is more than in the past.

“The quitting and removals show our central government’s strong determination and efforts against corruption, and reflect some outstanding problems in the deputy election procedures,” he said, citing a high-profile case in Hunan province that involved getting elected by bribery.

An investigation found that a dozen residents of Hengyang became Hunan provincial deputies by bribery when the election was held from Dec 28, 2012, to Jan 3, 2013, said Wang.

As a new election is coming in local legislatures, attention must be paid to the problem and election standards must not be lowered, he added.

Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the NPC’s Standing Committee, said on March 8 that qualifications for deputies will be made stricter and supervision of elections will be strengthened.

“We’ll handle the elections in accordance with laws and improve our reviews for the qualification of deputies, aiming to ensure the work is clean and fair,” Zhang said.