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People's Daily Online>>China Politics

More balanced ballots (4)

By Xuyang Jingjing (Global Times)

08:40, November 29, 2011

More than a dozen students and teachers worked on her campaign this fall, talking to students in their dormitories, handing out fliers and putting up posters detailing Wu's accomplishments. Their key message was to tell people that voting was important.

"We have to tell them that their vote counts, that it is their right," said Wu. "I'm compelled to educate people about their rights and the law, that's what I'm trying to do."

Wu lost her re-election bid managing to collect 1,000 write-in votes.

Wu is known for being outspoken and was the first to set up office hours to receive constituents when she was elected in 1984. She was also the first to report to constituents on a regular basis.

Despite her track record of public service, Wu's campaign team said they met obstacles during their on-campus campaign.

A scheduled lecture by Wu to a group of student cadres in early November was canceled. She was planning to talk about the election and the duties of a people's representative but college officials said a convenient venue wasn't available.

In the end the deputy president of the university, an official, on-ballot candidate, was elected in Wu's district with over 4,000 votes, more than half of all those cast.

Xu Zhiyong, a lawyer and teacher at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, was another losing write-in candidate. He received an impressive 3,500 votes but was beaten by Fang Binxing, the school's president who tallied more than half of the total 22,000 votes.

Although Xu complained his campaign was hampered he also noted some positive changes.

"Compared to when many constituents voted blindly without even knowing the candidates, this is a step forward," said Xu who had been elected in 2003 and 2006.

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