At least 8 percent of nominees were yesterday eliminated in the primary elections of members and alternate members of the 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and members of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
The margins are higher than at the 16th CPC National Congress in 2002, indicating a sign of progress of intra-Party democracy.
"Although the percentage of those eliminated is only some 3 points more than in the 16th national congress, it is a democratic step that will push forward socialist democracy," said Professor Cai Changshui at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee.
At the 16th CPC Congress, 10 - or 5.1 percent - of the nominees lost in the primary vote for central committee members.
Nine people, or 5.7 percent, were eliminated in the primary election of alternate members of the central committee.
Another seven people, or 5.8 percent of the nominees, lost in the primary vote for members of the central discipline commission.
"The increased margins between nominees and elected candidates show that Party democracy has taken a big step forward," said Wang Guixiu, an expert on political reform at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee.
Competitive elections were introduced at the 13th Party congress in November 1987, when the nominees eliminated at the primary elections for members and alternate members of the central committee and members of the central discipline commission numbered 10, 16 and four.
After that, competitive elections were written into the Party's Constitution to improve intra-Party democracy.
"Improving intra-Party democracy is the fundamental approach to promoting democratic governance and really making the people masters of the country," said Tian Peiyan, a senior theorist at the Policy Research Office of the CPC Central Committee.
(China Daily 10/22/2007 page1)