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More Grassroots Delegates to Attend CPC 17th Congress
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The Jincheng Community threw a party to celebrate the election of local policewoman Tang Min as a delegate to the upcoming 17th national congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Tang's popularity in the community in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, came from her work, helping laid off workers find jobs and the elderly find homes to rent.

"We're happy that someone who can really represent us and was recommended by us has been elected," Ren Jinbao, a resident, told Xinhua.

Figures from the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee show more than 28 percent of theĀ  2,217 new Party congress delegates were grassroots people such as workers, policemen, doctors or teachers.

The number of grassroots delegates is four percent more than the last congress in 2002. The delegates will represent more than 70 million CPC members, an increase of six million from the 16th congress in 2002.

"The expansion of grassroots representation shows the Party's resolution to support the interests of the masses," said Professor Gao Xinmin, of the Party School of the CPC Central Committee.

The delegates were elected across the country over eight months of voting when local CPC committees held their own congresses.

Each candidate went through strict procedures from public nomination, Party review, announcement of shortlisted candidates and the voting.

Text messaging and e-mails were employed to encourage voting. Election brochures were published in various ethnic minority languages.

Liu Youguo, a fisherman in Zhoushan city of east China's Zhejiang Province, followed the election by phone on his boat at sea.

"We didn't miss the election while we were at sea," Liu said.

In remote far western Tibet, local CPC officials took the polling door to door in areas without roads and transport.

Deng Xianhua, of the Chongqing city banking regulatory commission in southwest China, said voters could vote for anyone who met the standard of "being hardworking, warmhearted and good at discussing issues".

The delegates are required to "abide by and implement the Party constitution, carry out the Party's guidelines and policies, be industrious, honest and upright and in close touch with the public and honestly represent their opinions and demands", says an election brochure.

Ninety-nine percent of grassroots CPC organizations and 98 percent of CPC members participated in the poll. The number of delegates to the 17th CPC National Congress is 100 more than that of the 16th.

Women delegates accounted for 20 percent of the total and ethnic minorities 11 percent, and more than 70 percent of the delegates were aged below 55, up 7.2 percent from the last congress.

Delegates also came from "new economic and social organizations", which usually refers to private enterprises.

"It's good the congress includes more delegates from all walks of life," said delegate Chen Xueli, head of the Shandong Weigao Group's CPC committee.

"With more grassroots members, more social issues will be reflected to decision-makers, carrying forward democracy," Professor Gao said.

(Xinhua News Agency August 4, 2007)

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