The democratic rights of China's floating population for voting and to be voted have still not been brought under the protection of law, said Doje Cering, minister of Civil Affairs on Wednesday.
According to the Chinese law on organization of villagers' committee, rural residents should take part in the election in the places where their permanent residence is registered, said Doje Cering. The floating laborers, who often moved to other places for years and even for a dozen years, however, cannot fully exercise their democratic rights.
At present, China has a floating population of 120 million, among which its 35 percent, or some 40 million people, have been moving between provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, noted a latest survey conducted by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).
Doje Cering, also a deputy to the First Session of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, called for enhanced efforts to be done to study and cope with this issue, saying that grassroots democracy plays a vital role in the country's political democracy.
At present, the overall situation of grassroots democracy in China's rural areas, according to the minister's appraisal, is much better than in the country's urban areas, since the work for self-government of farmers began in the countryside over a decade ago.
The grassroot-level election is relatively good in such major cities as Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Nanjing, but it still needs to be improved in some other cities, the minister noted.
The law concerning the organization of the villagers' committeewith an aim to protect the right of self-government for China's farmers, was promulgated by the NPC Standing Committee in 1987, he said. So far, villagers' committees in most provinces and autonomous regions have held elections for a couple of times, he acknowledged. And millions of village leaders have been elected directly by their fellow villagers.