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Transparent Government

Local governments play a vital role in building a rule-of-law society, says an article in Worker's Daily. An excerpt follows:

Currently, obstacles in implementing national laws and policies mainly come from local protectionism.

At a recent convention, Beijing Mayor Wang Qishan said Beijing is gradually improving its governance transparency and striving to make sure its administrative acts are strictly in line with the law.

At a time when promoting a rule-of-law society and administration is developing, local governments shoulder vital roles to reach that goal.

Beijing's vow should serve as a wakeup call to other local governments.

The government, as a public service provider, should exercise its power strictly in accordance with laws.

In China, many specific administrative acts that are immediately associated with citizens, social entities or other organizations are carried out by local governments.

In other words, the majority of our country's laws are implemented by local administrative organs.

In this sense, local governments play a crucial role in our pursuit of a rule-of-law society.

At present, balancing local interests and national law is the first step if local governments are to shoulder that crucial role.

First, local governments should consciously safeguard the authority and unity of national laws.

Some local governments put the pursuit of local interests ahead of national interests, often at the expense of national laws and policies.

Secondly, local rules or regulations should be strictly in line with the Constitution and other national laws.

In particular, the Constitution should be observed with precision. In some places, local legislatures even have passed local rules that are in violation of national statutes, seriously tarnishing the authority of the laws.

Finally, local governments should be receptive to supervision from the judicial organs and never intervene in the affairs of courts.

Judicial bodies' supervision is to ensure local governments' administrative acts conform with national laws. Currently, the importance of supervision over local governments by judicial bodies is increasingly accepted in society and by the local governments themselves.

However, cases of local governments' meddling in the workings of courts still exist in some places, signifying the need for greater efforts by local governments to behave lawfully.

(China Daily September 13, 2005)

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