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Anti-graft drive aims for clean elections

Updated: 2016-04-12 07:39
By Zhang Yi (China Daily)

The top anti-graft watchdog said it is determined to remove tainted officials from their posts and create a clean environment for the election of officials at all local levels in the next two years.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said on Sunday night that a long-term process toward well-disciplined Party governance is still underway.

"Each of the 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in China has been found to have corrupt government officials at the ministerial-level since the anti-graft drive started three years ago, which suggests there is no pure land across the country," the commission said, underscoring that while the severity of corruption varies in each place, none are immune to corruption.

"There will be no letup in the anti-corruption drive and unrelenting efforts must be in place to eradicate corruption."

The commission stressed the significance of the efforts.

"Those with misconduct must be strictly banned from pursuing official positions, and they should never be allowed to be appointed to important positions," it said.

Starting this year, elections of deputies to the people's congresses at the local levels across the country will be held, under a decision by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. Local Party committees and governments will also hold elections to select new leaders in the next two years.

More than 900 million Chinese voters are expected to directly elect more than 2.5 million lawmakers in county or township elections set to begin this year, Zhang Dejiang, the top legislator, said when delivering a work report on the National People's Congress Standing Committee last month.

Under the Electoral Law, deputies to people's congresses at the level of townships and counties, who account for more than 90 percent of lawmakers at all levels nationwide, are elected directly by voters.

Last week, the anti-graft department in Songxi county, Fujian province, announced a disciplinary measure against an official who impeded a local government election.

Lan Kun, head of the Culture Center in the county, was given a warning for posting fictitious appointments of officials on a public WeChat account.

In 2013, 512 lawmakers in Hengyang, Hunan province, resigned after being implicated in a 110 million yuan ($18.1 million) bribery scandal, the largest-ever electoral fraud in recent years. More than 400 functionaries have been disciplined.

Jiao Hongchang, a law professor at China University of Political Science and Law, said such corruption jeopardizes the nation's electoral system and is likely to bring about more corruption after the candidates win because plenty of unlawful interests are involved.


Anti-graft drive aims for clean elections

(China Daily 04/12/2016 page5)

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