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Congress Deputies Elected in Counties and Townships
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Hundreds of counties and townships in 12 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in China have finished electing deputies to their local people's congresses, according to the National People's Congress (NPC).

Of the 12 provincial areas five have seen all the congresses at county and township levels hold the first meetings at which new leaders were elected to run local governments, the NPC said.

Elections for new people's congresses at county and township levels across the country began on July 1, 2006 and will be completed by the end of 2007.

Deputies to local people's congresses are elected to a five-year term, according to provisions in the Constitution and Election Law.

Under China's electoral system, which is based on representation by population, two million deputies will be elected to the two levels of local congresses.

Candidates to the country and township congresses are recommended by political parties, organizations or nominated by voters in a joint way. Candidates, who run in districts within a county or township, are introduced to voters at meetings where they present their ideas on how they’d help manage public affairs and respond to questions from the audience.

There are always more candidates than there are deputies to be elected and voting is carried out by secret ballot.

During local elections held recently in Beijing voter turnout was as high as 96 percent as election staff enumerated every household to register voters.

Jilin Province now requires that the number of deputies, who are also government officials, should not exceed 25 percent of the total number of deputies. This ensures that the majority of deputies to the grassroots congresses come from all walks of life including workers, farmers, entrepreneurs and intellectuals.

(Xinhua News Agency January 5, 2007)

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