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China rejects 'independent candidate' for county, township elections

June 9, 2011 - Beijing

China has rejected the concept of "independent candidate", for county and township elections.

The head of the Commission for Legislative Affairs of the National People Congress Standing Committee said the recently amended Chinese electoral law stipulates that a candidate running for county and township elections should be first nominated as "deputy candidate" and then confirmed as "official deputy candidate" in due legal procedures.

The officer said the electoral law amendment aims to guarantee equal franchise of every citizen, equal representation of every area, and representation of every ethnic group with a proper number of lawmakers, the Xinhua reports.

It increases interaction between voters and candidates by stating that electoral committees on voters' requests should arrange for candidates to meet with voters for a self-introduction and to answer voters' questions, the officer added.

According to the officer, to allow more meetings, the revised law extends the period for publicizing the name list of official candidates from five days to a week before the election Day, and that introductive activities of candidates must stop on the election day.

China started elections of lawmakers at the county- and township-levels on May 7. These are the first elections after the Electoral Law amendments were adopted in March 2010.


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