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Official vows to promote greater Party democracy

Updated: 2012-08-15 01:56
By ZHAO YINAN ( China Daily)

Competitive elections and tenure system will help push ‘crucial task’

A senior official of the Communist Party of China pledged on Tuesday to carry out greater intra-Party democracy, a task experts said is crucial.

The pledge came as the 91-year-old Party elected 2,270 delegates to attend a national congress later this year.

The elections, held from October to July, have seen an unprecedented choice, with every 100 delegates elected from a field of more than 115 candidates.

This represents a bigger choice than the 2002 and 2007 congresses.

The elected delegates will represent more than 82 million CPC members to attend the Party’s 18th National Congress.

They will vote in a once-in-five-year leadership election of the CPC Central Committee and its Political Bureau Standing Committee.

They will also review reports delivered by the CPC Central Committee and the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC.

Wang Jingqing, deputy head of the CPC Organization Department, said members of the CPC Central Committee, a high-level ruling body of the Party, will also be elected with a wide pool, but the exact figure has yet to be decided.

Wang, speaking at one of the first news conferences concerning the congress, said on Tuesday that intra-Party democracy is the lifeline of the Party and should be steadily encouraged across the board.

Wang said he foresees growing endorsement of the rights of Party members, among other steps, on the road to greater intra-Party democracy.

Referring to elections offering greater choice, Wang said the CPC has also, for the first time, used the multi-candidate method when working out preliminary lists of candidates for elections.

Some local Party committees have, for the first time, released the names of delegates on newspapers and TV programs to encourage more Party members to participate and offer feedback for the election.

Wang said future efforts will include increasing the number of grassroots delegates to attend the Party congress.

"In addition, a better enforcement of the right to know as well as the right of participation, decision and supervision are also essential in reinforcing the dominant power of the Party members," he said.

Wang admitted that meeting the goal requires a modification of the Party congress system, which primarily involves better implementation of the tenure system of delegates.

Under the system, delegates will be empowered to supervise Party organizations and leading officials, to recommend, elect and assess Party officials, said Lin Zhe, professor at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee. They can also put forward proposals for dismissing Party officials, among many other rights, throughout their tenure.

The system was designed for delegates to better supervise Party officials even when the congress was not convened.

"The transparency of the Party has improved, but in a gradual manner. Obligations of Party officials, such as releasing their personal assets, need stricter enforcement," she said.