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Heart of Chinese rocket manufacturing company becomes example of direct election system
( 2003-11-20 15:12) (Xinhua)

The assembly workshop of the Capital Aerospace Machinery Company, which produced the Long March 2F rocket that sent the Shenzhou V manned spaceship into orbit, Tuesday became one of Beijing's thousands of locations of the direct election system.

Thirty technicians in white gowns gathered around a table to discuss the deputy candidates to the people's congress of Fengtai District in Beijing, with the giant fittings of the Long March series rockets lying beside.

"I propose Guo Fengren and Luo Beiqing to be the candidates," said Zhao Yan, a 25-year-old ship-fitter who took the lead in the discussion. "As the key leaders of our company, they possess high- level professional skills. What is more, they bear the basic interests of the employees in mind, having the traffic-choked road expanded and the heating system of the workshop upgraded, for example."

Her words sparked a heated discussion. "I think a deputy candidate of our company should have a strong high-tech background as well as hands-on experience in the basic work, said Huang Ming, Zhao's colleague. "Most importantly, he or she should be committed to the public good."

"I agree with Zhao," said Ma Li, head of this voter group. "The deputy candidate should have good communication skills."

Half an hour later, consensus was reached that Guo and Luo were jointly nominated as the local deputy candidates by 30 voters who consist of No. 115 voter group of No. 1 electoral district of China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT).

Tao Xisheng, director of the voting committee for CALT, said he was greatly inspired by the heated discussion. Having been in charge of the direct election for five consecutive terms in the CALT, he has found voters are more and more engaged in their political rights and set higher standards for deputy candidates.

According to the rule, the direct election for district or county people's congresses are divided into four stages, namely registration, wide nomination, candidates screening and finally voting.

As of Nov. 18, all Beijing's 18 districts and counties had completed the registration phase and about 7.9 million citizens had registered to be voters, who were divided into 2,326 electoral wards.

Voters will widely nominate deputy candidates in their electoral wards before Nov. 25 and 4,403 deputies of district or county people's congresses in Beijing will be then selected from those nominated candidates.

Guo Jinzhong, an official with the Publicity and Information Division of Beijing Municipal People's Congress, said the wide nomination and the candidates screening were crucial. The mechanism that more than ten voters might recommend the candidates ensured that the deputies could really run public affairs well on behalf of the people.

All Beijing's deputies to district or county people's congresses are now directly elected by people. "What we saw in the CALT was just an epitome of Beijing's county direct election," said Guo Jinzhong.

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