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Beijing Local Elections Concluded
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Beijing citizens elected 4,403 deputies from 18 districts and counties in the district- and county-level People's Congress that ended on Monday.


Official election statistics show that the election saw a high voter turnout predicted at above 90 percent.


The grass roots will be strongly represented in the incoming congress with the new deputies coming from every cross-section of society.


Officials also highlighted other changes in the congress.


For example, 32.3 percent of the new district deputies are women, up 3.2 percentage points from the share of women serving during the last term.


Seventy-nine percent of all the deputies have at least a college degree, with some of them holding post-graduate degrees, up 12.1 percent from the last term.


Eighteen deputies come from other cities. This is the result of a new election rule that allows people from other cities to take part in elections in Beijing.


One official heralded the diversity of the incoming group of deputies. "The new group of deputies is representative in terms of gender, politics and education. They will better represent the interests of all grass-roots people," said a city congress official surnamed Guo.


The newly elected district-level congress will hold its first meeting before the end of December and elect new leaders of the district governments, courts and people's procuratorate.


Meanwhile, the city's township congress also concluded on Monday. In that election, voters elected 9,971 deputies from 181 towns and 13 suburban districts and counties for the new township congress.


(China Daily November 16, 2006)

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