NPC aims to make diversity key priority

(China Daily) Updated : 2022-03-07

NPC aims to make diversity key priority

Deputies attend the opening meeting of the fifth session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 5, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

Grassroots deputies to have even greater representation in national legislature

The new National People's Congress, to be elected before next January, should have a wide representation of people from all walks of life with more women and grassroots-level deputies, according to a draft election decision unveiled on Saturday.

No more than 3,000 deputies should be elected to the 14th NPC, including 36 from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and 12 from the Macao SAR.

The election of deputies to the 14th NPC, the country's top legislature, should be completed by January 2023, two months prior to the end of the five-year term of the current 13th NPC, according to the draft election decision submitted to the ongoing fifth session of the 13th NPC for review on Saturday.

The draft election plan calls for a larger group of deputies from the grassroots level, especially frontline workers, farmers and skilled professionals. In principle, the percentage of female deputies and deputies elected from migrant workers should be increased, it says.

When the 13th NPC was elected in early 2018, 742 deputies were female, making up 24.9 percent of the total, and 45 deputies were migrant workers, according to official records.

The draft election rule also stipulates that every ethnic group in China, no matter how small it is in population, should have at least one deputy. Calling for a democratic and law-based election, it highlights electoral discipline and warns against electoral fraud.

In China, there are five levels of people's congresses-township, county, city, provincial and national levels. The township and county level deputies, making up 94.5 percent of all China's 2.62 million people's congress deputies, are elected directly by people in their districts, and the upper three levels of deputies are elected by their lower-level deputies.

Zhang Yesui, spokesman for the fifth session of the 13th NPC, said on Friday that as of now, township and county-level elections will finish soon and more than 1 billion people have so far taken part in the elections.

As for electing NPC deputies from Hong Kong and Macao, two draft methods were submitted to the top legislature for review on Saturday.

Wang Chen, vice-chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, delivered a speech on Saturday about NPC elections in Hong Kong and Macao. The drafts detail the elections must adapt to new situations and changes, and must ensure that national legislators elected from the two SARs are firm patriots.

In the draft method for the election of NPC deputies in Hong Kong, candidates must declare in the registration process that they uphold the Constitution, the Basic Law of the HKSAR and the principle of "one country, two systems".

Anyone who has received any form of election-related funding from foreign institutions, organizations or individuals, or those having been convicted by a court for harming national security are disqualified from the election, it says.