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People's Daily Online>>China Politics

Backgrounder: Village committee election in China

(Xinhua)

09:00, March 30, 2012

CHANGCHUN, March 30 (Xinhua) -- The rules and regulations of village elections in China are governed by the Organic Law of Village Committees, which was implemented on a trial basis in 1987 and was fully adopted in 1998 by the National People's Congress of China.

According to the law, village committee, usually consisting of three to seven members, is directly elected by villagers above age 18. The committee is an autonomous body that governs all of the village's public issues.

The elections are considered valid as long as at least half of a village's registered, eligible voters go to the polls, and the results should be announced immediately after votes are tallied.

Candidates are directly nominated by villagers with the right to vote, and candidates should outnumber available posts. Any candidate who receives over half of the ballots will win a seat on the committee.

The elections, held every three years, include candidate debates, formal platforms and the use of secret ballot boxes. An election committee is necessary to preside over elections of village committees.

The law was amended in 2010 to curb vote-buying activities and ensure fairness of the election. The revision to the law also called for enhanced transparency in the administration of village committees.

According to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, as of 2010, most provinces had carried out at least seven rounds of village committee elections.

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