Liaoning election fraud challenges political system

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, September 13, 2016
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China's top legislator said Tuesday that the Liaoning electoral fraud challenged the bottom line of the Chinese political system, and that a zero-tolerance approach would be taken toward any offences in elections.

Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), made the remarks at the closing ceremony of the 23rd meeting of the 12th NPC Standing Committee.

Zhang said the meeting provisionally convened according to relevant laws and had important content of great significance. At the meeting attendees approved a report nullifying the election of some national lawmakers by the Liaoning Provincial People's Congress.

Attendees decided that the election of 45 NPC deputies by the first session of the 12th Liaoning Provincial People's Congress was invalid.

The meeting also made a decision that a preparatory panel should be established for the 7th session of the 12th Liaoning Provincial People's Congress.

Zhang said the electoral bribery in Liaoning was the first of its kind to take place at provincial level since the People's Republic of China was founded, which seriously violated the Party's discipline, state laws and rules.

The case seriously violated organizational and electoral discipline and the electoral system of the people's congress system, Zhang added.

It challenged the people's congress system, the socialist democratic politics and the state laws and Party disciplines, said Zhang.

It also challenged the bottom line of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics, and the bottom line of the Communist Party of China (CPC)'s ruling status, according to Zhang.

Thoroughly investigating and dealing with the Liaoning electoral bribery in accordance with the law, shows a clear attitude and firm determination to comprehensively implement the rule of law and strengthen Party discipline by the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping as general secretary, Zhang said.

The move safeguarded the authority and dignity of the people's congress system and the socialist rule of law.

Zhang said the electoral fraud exposed weak law enforcement by the election-organizing institutions and responsible persons, as they turned a blind eye to foul play.

Some candidates used money to manipulate the election, engaging in blatant election fraud; some NPC deputies broke laws and received bribes from candidates as if that was an implicit rule, Zhang said.

He added that some NPC officials and staff, though legally aware, still acted as go-betweens for candidates to rig the election.

Zhang cautioned officials to stay vigilant and learn lessons from the case.

The NPC is the organ of state power, ensuring the Party's plans become wills of the state through legal procedures, candidates recommended by Party organizations become officials through legal procedures, and the Party exercise leadership through state organs, Zhang said.

He said NPC deputies should defend the rule of law and firmly oppose election rigging as well as other legal and disciplinary transgressions.

Democratically electing NPC deputies is the foundation of the country's NPC system, said Zhang.

From this year, the NPC at all levels will face a new round of elections, he said, demanding serious reflection on and lessons be drawn from the electoral fraud in Liaoning and an earlier one in Hengyang, Hunan province, Zhang said.

"The trading of power and money must be eliminated from electoral procedures, and socialist democracy under the rule of law must not be undermined in any form," the top legislator noted.

The Party's leadership over the NPC, especially the deputy election work, must be upheld and elections should be organized in accordance with the law, Zhang added.

Zhang also vowed that a "zero tolerance" approach would be implemented to crack down on the crimes of election rigging and malpractice.

"To ensure clean elections, we will show no mercy and will not forgive those who violate discipline and laws," Zhang said.

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