Li Yuanchao, head of the Organization Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), released an article in Thursday's People's Daily on how to push forward intra-Party democracy and strengthen Party unity.
The article says intra-Party democracy is the lifeblood of the CPC. The development course of the Party has repeatedly proved that only when the intra-Party practices are fully fulfilled can the Party cause be prosperous and emerging problems be corrected in time. When intra-Party practices are weakened and destroyed, the Party cause will suffer defeat.
The article calls for expanding intra-Party democracy. In the meantime, Party member's democratic rights should be safeguarded and their principal positions should be respected.
The Party Constitution and the regulations on safeguarding the rights of Party members both stipulate the democratic rights of Party members, such as democratic participation, election, decision-making and oversight. All Party members, whatever their position, equally enjoy all democratic rights. Any organizations and individuals should not infringe upon those rights.
The article says practices have shown that inadequate intra-Party democracy is always coincident with inadequate protection of Party member's rights. Therefore, to safeguard the democratic rights of Party members is the foundation of intra-Party democracy.
To expand intra-Party democracy, the transparency of Party affairs should be promoted and a democratic discussion environment should be created. The transparency of Party affairs is a prerequisite of intra-Party democracy, says the article.
Important decisions on the Party or the nation's significant affairs should be made after full intra-Party discussions. The leadership body should make resolutions after fully soliciting opinions from grassroots organizations. The grassroots Party organization should make decisions after soliciting opinions from Party members. Therefore, extensive participation and effective supervision of Party members to the Party affairs could be realized, the article says.
The article says that in order to expand intra-Party democracy, it is necessary to improve the system of Party congresses by adopting a tenure system for their delegates which ensures that Party members can exert their rights during the close-session period and by implementing a system of Party congresses with a fixed term on a trial basis in selected counties and cities and by ensuring the Party committee, rather than its standing committee, to play the bigger role in decision-making.
The article says the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee should regularly report its work to plenary sessions of the Central Committee and accept its oversight; the standing committees of local Party committees at all levels should do likewise to plenary sessions of local Party committees and accept their oversight. The stipulation attaches great importance to strengthening intra-Party oversight and guaranteeing proper power exertion.
According to the report made by Hu Jintao at the 17th Party national congress, "We will introduce a system of voting for use by local Party committees in discussing and deciding on major issues and appointing cadres to important positions".
The system will prevent arbitrary decision-making by an individual or a minority of people and will guarantee scientific and democratic decision-making, says the article.
The report to the Party congress also said, "We will reform the intra-Party electoral system and improve the system for nominating candidates and electoral methods. We will spread the practice in which candidates for leading positions in primary Party organizations are recommended both by Party members and the public in an open manner and by the Party organization at the next higher level, gradually extending the direct election of leading members in primary Party organizations to more places."
The stipulation clearly points out the direction of intra-Party election reform, says the article.
The article also says Party unity is the lifeblood of the Party. "All Party members must firmly uphold the centralized and unified leadership of the Party, conscientiously abide by the Party's political disciplines, always be in agreement with the CPC Central Committee and resolutely safeguard its authority to ensure that its resolutions and decisions are carried out effectively."
The article says all Party members must always be in accordance with the CPC Central Committee in guiding principles, work objectives and work deployment. Whatever the units and departments are, whoever the Party members are and wherever they are, they must resolutely follow the unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee.