The election of the 2,120 deputies to the 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) scheduled for Nov. 8 this year was a highly democratic process, officials involved in the work said.
All the deputies had to first win a nomination from fellow Party members in grassroots organizations of the CPC before being recommended to higher Party organizations as candidates for multi-candidate elections, said an official with the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee.
Both prior to and after the elections, they underwent strict examinations by special panels in their respective electoral units, and were subject to the scrutiny of the general public with regard to professionalism and personal integrity, the official added.
Statistics showed that 98 percent of the Party organizations at the grassroots and 93 percent of their members had participated in the deputy election process.
Party organizations in many places employed methods such as phone calls, letters, telegrams, faxes and family visits to ensure that those Party members who were not at home or who were unable to participate in the election process during to other reasons had a chance to express their opinions.
When it was learned that a retired Party member from a state-owned bank in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province was too ill to take part in the meeting discussing the deputy nominations, the Party Committee of the bank decided to send someone to the hospital to hear his opinions, local Party officials said.
The old man, in the last days of his life, was moved to tears by the sincerity of the Party officials, they added.
In east China's coastal province of Zhejiang and the northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, special hotlines were set up so that the public could voice their opinions about the deputy nominees and elected deputies.
According to high-level sources, the election of deputies formally began in late October 2001, when the CPC Central Committee issued detailed guidelines for the election process.
Party organizations of the 38 electoral units across the country, including all the municipalities, provinces and autonomous regions, the central government departments and the People's Liberation Army, quickly formed leading groups for the election and started mobilizing their Party members for the work.
In some ethnic minority areas, pamphlets and books on the importance and main procedures of deputy elections were published in ethnic minority languages and widely distributed.
As many as 1.1 million initial candidates were nominated in the first round of deputy elections in 26 electoral units, which indicated the intensity of competition and the broad range of candidate election, said a senior Party official in Beijing.
The 2,120 elected deputies could be called the best and most qualified representatives of the country's over 66 million Party members, as 88.5 percent of them hold the title of "model Party member" at or above the provincial and ministry level, and 1,943 deputies have an education level which exceeds college graduation, the official noted.
"These deputies will definitely live up to the expectations of their fellow Party members and the over 1.2 billion countrymen, and make the upcoming Party Congress a great success and an unforgettable chapter in history," the official said.
(Xinhua News Agency September 8, 2002)