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Leadership evaluation weighed

By Zhao Yinan (China Daily)

10:59, July 17, 2013

Lawmakers should play a greater role in Party oversight, experts say

Experts have called for lawmakers to get more involved in nominating, evaluating and supervising officials, as the Communist Party of China considers reforming how capable leaders are selected.

Jiang Ming'an, a law professor at Peking University, said lawmakers should play a bigger role in selecting capable officials and dismissing incompetent ones, which is a constitutional right but one that has sometimes been undermined.

"It is a feasible and safe way at the moment to introduce forces outside the Party to get involved in the selection of officials. Lawmakers, who are elected from all walks of life, can give a relatively objective assessment of officials," he said.

China has about 27 million lawmakers, who are deputies to the local people's congresses in counties and provinces. But there are fewer than 3,000 deputies to the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature.

All the lawmakers are empowered to elect and approve key figures in the government, courts and prosecutors' offices. They also have the right to address inquiries to State organs.

Jiang said the selection of capable officials is vital to both the country and the Party, so reforms on the selection method can only be done in a gradual and mild way to avoid instability.

"But reform is urgent. Action should be taken immediately to get rid of officials whose behavior is indecent or illegal to improve the image of the Party."

The discussion follows President Xi Jinping's remarks last month on reforming the performance evaluation system for officials.

Xi said at a meeting on June 29 commemorating the founding of the Party that China would not assess the performance of an official simply based on his record of boosting the economy.

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