Delegates elected for CPC national congress

By Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2017/7/19 0:03:19

At least one-third of representatives come from grass roots


A total of 1,576 Party representatives have been elected in provincial-level election units to attend the upcoming national congress of the Party.

They were elected by 31 provincial-level party committees to attend the 19th Session of the Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress, slated for the latter half of this year.

They, together with Party representatives elected in central Party organizations, will make up the full roster of 2,300 delegates who will gather in Beijing.

Compared with previous Party congresses, this year, more representatives hail from the grass roots.

"In the five years since the last national congress of the Party [in 2012], we have more Party members, and we need to increase the number of grass-roots representatives," a source from the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee told the China Economy Weekly.

The CPC had a total of 89.45 million members at the end of 2016, the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee announced in a communiqué published ahead of the 96th anniversary of the CPC's founding on July 1.

"The majority of CPC members are working in the grass roots rather than as senior officials and elites, so increasing the proportion of grass-roots Party representatives can bring more voices from the front line of the reform," said Zhi Zhenfeng, a legal expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

According to a request from the Party's National Committee, the proportion of grass-roots representatives from provinces, municipalities, autonomous regions, central financial administrations and Beijing-based State-owned enterprises should not be lower than one-third, while the proportion of senior officials and leading cadres should not be more than two-thirds, the China Economy Weekly reported.

This request has been put into practice successfully. For instance, in East China's Anhui Province, Party committees at the grass-roots level nominated many farmers and workers who have good reputations among the people to be Party representatives. Among the 320 candidates in Anhui, 245 were farmers or grass-roots employees, accounting for 76.6 percent of the total, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

"Reform is an important mission for the CPC, and Party members working in the grass roots are dealing with difficulties and problems directly during the reform, so their voices will be heard as they are different from the high-ranking officials and are even more valuable," said Xu Xing, a professor of politics at the Zhou Enlai School of Government of Nankai University.

"To some extent, Party congress representatives are just like the delegates of the National People's Congress (NPC). In the past, NPC delegates were mostly elites and the ratio of delegates representing the grass roots that could reflect their concerns was low. The new trend shows that the CPC is trying to avoid isolation from the people," Zhi said.

"This trend will not stop after the Party congress, and the proportion of grass-roots Party members should continue to increase in the future," Xu said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, was elected as a delegate by unanimous vote at the CPC Guizhou provincial congress on April 20.

Apart from Xi, another six members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee - Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli ­- were elected in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Xinjiang and Yunnan, Hunan and Shaanxi provinces.

Representing minorities

The number of delegates a province can have is primarily decided by the number of Party members there are.

In the 31 provincial administrations which have already finished elections for Party representatives, regions with large populations and higher numbers of Party members, like Shandong and Sichuan, have more than 70 representatives each; but administrations that have smaller populations, like Hainan and Tibet Autonomous Region, have a smaller number of representatives, no higher than 30.

Apart from the number of Party members, representatives are also decided by other factors, including industries, professions, ethnic groups and gender to ensure broad representation, Zhi said.

Among the 1,576 Party representatives from the provinces, municipalities and regions, 448 are women and 229 are from minority ethnic groups.

The Xinjiang Daily reported that 19 of the 43 representatives in the autonomous region are from ethnic groups including Uyghur, Hui and Kazakh.


Newspaper headline: Congress delegates elected


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