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Officials' seats to be reduced in NPC

By Yang Jingjie (Global Times)

14:20, March 10, 2012

China's top legislative body is mulling to reduce the proportion of Communist Party and government officials among deputies to the 12th National People's Congress (NPC), giving more seats to farmers and workers, according to a draft decision of the top legislature.
The draft decision on the issues concerning the number of deputies to the 12th NPC and their election was submitted to the ongoing annual legislative session on Thursday.

According to the draft, nearly 3,000 deputies will be elected by January 2013 to perform their duties until March 2018.

Explaining the draft at a plenary meeting of the session, Li Jianguo, vice chairman of the 11th NPC Standing Committee, said that "broad representation of deputies to the NPC is not only the essential requirement of the system, but also an important embodiment of socialist democracy."

The draft demanded a decrease in the proportion of deputies who are Party or government leaders and officials, compared with the current NPC.

"There shall be an increase in the proportion of deputies at the primary level, especially from workers and farmers, as well as professionals and technicians," Li said.

According to a calculation by the Guangzhou-based Southern Weekend, officials and civil servants make up more than 85 percent of the mainland's deputies. Among the 2,978 deputies to the 11th NPC, 61 of them are from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

Meanwhile, the China Youth Daily reported that among Beijing's deputies to the NPC, 62 percent of them are Party or government officials.

"The structure is called the 'inverted pyramid' by scholars. Although these people have advantages in their educational background and familiarity with the local situation, it is easy for them to form interests groups and break away from the masses," Lü Xiaobo, a professor with the School of Government at Nanjing University, told the Global Times.

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