2006-2007Guidebookof the Deputy Election to the Peoples Congressesat Lower Local Level in China

作者: 发表时间:2006-2-28

NOTE

During 2006 - 2007, there will have the term change of the lower local level people"s congress members. By Chinese law, the congress has five levels, notional level (NPC), provincial level, municipal level, county level (district in urban area) and the township level (only in rural area). Also by law, congress members, the county and township level in rural and district in urban, should be directly elected by voters. But local government controlled the nomination of deputies; therefore the so called direct election has never been realized. In the history of reform, many ordinary tried to run the “direct election”, such as many students ran the election in 1980 in many campus, and some students, lawyers, teachers, residents and farmers ran election in Shengzhen, Beijing, Qianjiang city of Hubei Province and other places in 2003. Those events showed that the ordinary people tried to realize the political power empowered by Constitution, which also showed the very strong demands from society for the political reform.

Currently, many people, either urban or rural, have decided to participate in the election in this time and trying becoming the local congress members. Because current law and regulations are very difficult to understand and manage for the potential candidates, World and China Institute (WCI) gathered some experts, activists and lawyers to discuss the issues that probably candidates will meet in the election. We think this will be helpful to candidates to understand the election system and the operation better, and then to run an effective election.

This document may cause some one"s difficult to understand the current election system in China. This document is not the full interpretation to election system; this is a guidebook for candidates to master their steps and operation to run the election.

Li Fan

Director of WCI

2006-2007Guidebookof the Deputy Election to the People"s Congressesat Lower Local Level in China

Research Project

China"s Election of Deputy to the People"s Congress

April 12, 2006


CONTENTS

FORWARD

Chapter1 Knowledge Concerning the Legal Foundation for the Election of Deputies to the People"s Congresses at the Lowe Local Level

Chapter2 Focusing on the Electoral Organization

Chapter3 Understanding the Electoral District Division

Chapter4 The Confirmation of Voter"s Qualification

Chapter5 Striving for the Deputy Candidate"s Nomination and Confirmation

Chapter6 Enhancing the Introduction of Deputy Candidates in the Election

Chapter7 Focusing on Voting and Ballot Counting

Chapter8 Arrangement for Election Observation

Chapter9 Election Dispute Settlement


Foreword

The institution of people"s congress is our fundamental political institution, and above all election is the cornerstone of it.

Article 2 of the Constitution of the People"s Republic of China provides that “ all power in the People"s Republic of China belongs to the people.”

Article 2 of the Constitution of the People"s Republic of China also provides that “the people administer state affairs and manage economic, cultural and social affairs through various channels and in various ways in accordance with the laws.” Article 3 provides that “ the National People"s Congress and the local people"s congresses at different levels are instituted through democratic election. They are responsible to the people and subject to their supervisio n. ” That is to say, the people"s mastering their own affairs, exercising state power, managing national affairs and social public affairs are all through electing deputies to the people"s congresses at all levels, and all the objectives mentioned above will be fulfilled by the People"s Congress at all levels which made up of all the elected deputies correspondingly. The effective way that the people exercise their power is to elect.

If the people neglect and abandon election, that would be equal to abandon their own power. When they attach much importance to their right to vote and exert their authority in a correct way, we can find that the people " s power is in their own hand.

Only when the people treat their right to vote seriously and correctly can the issues of legislative imperfection, law enforcement corruption and judicial unfairness be resolved from the origin and long-term stability of the country be brought about.

Only when the people take their right to vote seriously can they make their statutory right be guaranteed indeed. Taking your right to vote is to maintain the institution of the people"s congress.

According to the Electoral Law of the People"s Republic of China, deputies to county- and township-level people"s congresses are directly elected by voters, and so are the deputies to the municipal district people"s congresses, in which direct election means that the voters can vote for the deputies to the people"s congress by their own vote, which is the civil right statutorily protected.

According to the decision made by the Standing Committee of National People"s Congress, during the period from July 1, 2006 to December 31, 2007, the re-election of the term change of deputies will be carried out throughout the country- and township-level people"s congresses in the whole country, which means the re-election of deputies at local country- and township-level, and municipal districts will be put forward at the same time. While China"s present democracy develops, a lot of citizens have the desire to participate in the above mentioned two-level deputy election. But how to understand the legal environment of election, how to participate in the election of the deputy to local people"s congresses, what questions need paying close attention to, and what questions may be met, all of them are not very clear to the citizens, likewise, they are not very clear for the voters either.

In order to help the voters participate in the election campaign better, and also help the voters understand our electoral system and its operation mode, using the ballot in their hand better, we studied the laws and factual practices concerning the election of deputies to the people"s congresses at all levels in recent years, and compiled this election guide handbook for the voters" reference.

This handbook is not a legal document, and it is a summary based on China"s current laws and practical experience, which is a comprehension of the present electoral system of our country and only represents the opinion of this project research group. The concrete practice is subject to the Constitution and the Electoral Law. We hope this election handbook can arouse the attention from the mass voters and deputy candidates, and absorb new beneficial practical experience from the election of people"s congresses at or below the county level in 2006 and 2007, so as to promote the electoral system reform further in China, aiming to make China"s electoral system be more democratic, transparent, liberal and impartial and accelerate the construction of a harmonious society.

Chapter 1 Knowledge Concerning the Legal Foundation for the Election of Deputies to the People"s Congresses at the Lower Local Level

Tips :

The Constitution and the laws are the solid guarantee for the citizens" right to vote and to be voted.

Every local regulation and implementing regulation regarding election can not contravene the Constitution and the laws.

Provisions Concerning Election in the Constitution, the Electoral Law and the Organic Law of the Local People"s Congresses and Local People"s Governments of the People"s Republic of China

Article 34 of the Constitution provides that “all citizens of the People"s Republic of China who have reached the age of 18 have the right to vote and stand for election, regardless of nationality, race, sex, occupation, family background, religious belief, education, property status, or length of residence, except persons deprived of political rights according to law.”

And Article 97 of the Constitution provides that deputies to the people"s congresses of counties, cities not divided into districts, municipal districts, townships, nationality townships and towns are elected directly by their constituencies, which is the constitutional foundation of the election of deputies to the people"s congresses below the county level, and it guarantees the affinity between the people"s congresses at or below the county level and the constituencies on the basis of the Constitution.

The Electoral Law is the fundamental law governing the election of deputies to the people"s congresses, which prescribes the number of deputies to the local people"s congresses, precinct division, registration of voters, the determination of deputy candidates, electoral procedure, recalling individual deputies to the people"s congresses and electing individual deputies to fill the vacancies in the people"s congresses, and sanctions upon the acts undermining the election campaign in detail. The revision of the Electoral Law in 2004 was a great improvement for the electoral system of our country, in which the candidate confirmation, introduction, legal liability for wrongful acts during the election campaign and so on were further improved.

The Organic Law of the Local People"s Congresses and Local People"s Governments of the People"s Republic of China has made consistent provisions with the Constitution and the Electoral Law in the direct election and term of office of the deputies to the local people"s congresses.

Provisions Concerning Election in the Procedure Law, the Civil Law and the Administrative Law

As election is distant from real world life, the legislation of election has been lagged behind, and many electoral controversies are difficult to be decided by the judiciary. At present only the Civil Procedure Law defined the credential s of voters. The lawsuit concerning the credentials of voters is subject to special procedures.

Article 164 of the Civil Procedure Law provides that “i f citizens refuse to accept an election committee"s decision on an appeal concerning the credentials of voters, they may, five days before the election day, bring a suit in the basic people"s court located in their electoral district.” And Article 165 of it provides that “after a people"s court has accepted a case concerning the credentials of voters, it must close the case before the election day. The prosecutor, a representative of the election committee and other citizens concerned must participate in the proceedings. The written judgment of the people"s court shall be served on the election committee and the prosecutor before the election day, and other citizens concerned shall be notified of the judgment.”

The questions related with the normative electoral documents adopted by the local people"s congresses shall be reviewed and disposed in accordance with the provisions promulgated by the NPC Standing Committee; civil compensation disputes arose from the election shall be disposed in line with the Civil Law; the administrative responsibility shall be disposed in line with Public Security Administration Regulation; criminal responsibility shall be disposed in line with the Criminal Law; other electoral disputes may be complained to the election committee, the people"s congress at all levels and its standing committee in accordance with the Constitution and other relevant provisions of the Electoral Law by the parties concerned.

Provisions Concerning Election in the Criminal Law

In order to guarantee fair and equitable elections, crime of undermining elections is established in the Criminal Law against the serious conduct violating the electoral order, which is the strongest constraint against the conducts violating citizens" democratic rights.

Article 256 of the Criminal Law provides that “whoever in election of the deputies to the people"s congresses and the leading members of the State organs at various levels, disrupts elections or obstructs the electorate and deputies from freely exercising their right to vote and to stand for election by such means as violence, threat, deception, bribery, falsification of electoral documents or false report of ballots, if the circumstances are serious, shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years, criminal detention or deprivation of political rights.”

Local Regulations and Operational Practices Concerning Election

At each general election, in addition to the relevant provisions in the Electoral Law and that adopted by the NPC, the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities have adopted local regulations on election, and these local regulations are generally adopted by the provincial people"s congress or its standing committee. In the actual election, the people"s congresses at or below the provincial level always adopts some local operative provisions on election on the basis of local regulations, by which the operative provisions concerning the direct election of deputies to the district- or county- level people"s congress are impacted most significantly, which should be of particular concern.

Relevant materials and the local provisions concerning elections can be obtained through the websites established by the standing committee of the local people"s congresses or enquiring them directly.


Chapter 2 Focusing on the Electoral Organization

Tips:

Electoral organizations are the various institutions engaged in electoral work, and the whole process of elections has direct relations with electoral administrative organizations.

Every deputy candidate should understand the legal rights and obligations of the electoral organizations, know how to coordinate with electoral organizations well and obtain relevant information about elections initiatively.

The Statutory Electoral Organization

1. The electoral administrative organization

Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Electoral Law provides tha t “ in cities not divided into districts, municipal districts, counties, autonomous counties, townships, nationality townships, and towns, election committees shall be established to conduct the election of deputies to the people"s congresses at the corresponding levels .” And Article 2 of the Provisions of the Standing Committee of the National People"s Congress for the Direct Election of Deputies to People"s Congress at or Below the County Level has stipulated that the functions and powers of an election committee shall be:

(1) assume responsibility for the election of deputies to the people"s congress at the corresponding level;
(2) conduct the registration of voters, examine the voters" qualifications and publish the name list of voters; handle and decide on petitions concerning the name list of voters;

(3) divide electoral constituency for the election of deputies to the people"s congress at the corresponding level and allocate the number of deputies to be elected in each electoral district;

(4) decide on and publish the formal list of candidates for deputies on the basis of the opinions of the majority of voters;

(5) fix the date for the election;
(6) determine the validity or invalidity of the election results and publish the names of the elected deputies.

The election committee in a county, autonomous county, city not divided into districts or municipal district directs the work of the election committees of the townships, nationality townships and towns.

Election committee is the most important electoral organization. In actual election the party secretary general in the region will be in command in person, and above the Election committee often sets up a leading election group. As to the functions and powers of that group, there is no law to regulate it. Below the election committee often sets up a constituency work leading group (Constituency Working Group) or a subcommittee of the election committee, which can be seen as an office of the election committee, and it is the constituency work leading group or the subcommittee of the election committee that actually conducts the constituency elections.

The Election Commission has its offices.

2. Election offices.

Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisions of the Standing Committee of the National People"s Congress for the Direct Election of Deputies to People"s Congress at or Below the County Level provides that “ an election committee establishes an office to handle specific matters related to the election” . Election offices commonly referred to as the Election Committee Office or Election Work Office.

3. The leading election organization

Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Electoral Law provides that “ the election committees of cities not divided into districts, municipal districts, counties and autonomous counties shall be under the leadership of the standing committees of the people"s congresses at the corresponding levels. The election committees of townships, nationality townships, and towns shall be under the leadership of the standing committees of the people" s congresses of cities not divided into districts, municipal districts, counties and autonomous counties.” And the functions and powers of the standing committee of people"s congress at county-level are as follows:

(1) make decisions on the current elections, develop operative plans, and decide when to begin and end the general election;

(2) establish the Electoral Commission, and appoint the Election committee members;

(3) determine the ratio each deputy represented the population in the rural area and that in the township area in accordance with Articles 12 and 13 of the Electoral Act.

(4) accept voters criticism, suggestions, complaints, impeachment on the election.

4. The voter"s group

The main function of the voter"s group is to contact the voters, and discuss and negotiate about the recommendation of deputy candidates. The voters" group is usually generated according to the principle of facilitating holding meetings and consultation of the constituency, and the head or deputy head of the voters" group is elected by the voters in the constituency.

5. The political parties and people"s organizations

The political parties and people"s organizations in the election enjoy the following rights:

(1) may either jointly or separately recommend candidates for deputies ;

(2) shall inform the election committee of the congress of their candidates" backgrounds, and introduce the candidate"s backgrounds at the voters" group session.

A joint group of at least ten voters may also recommend candidates, but it is not an organization. However it enjoys equal right as the political parties and people"s organizations on nominating and recommending its deputy candidate.

6. The election directing organization

Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Constitution provides that “ the standing committees of the people"s congresses of provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the Central Government, cities divided into districts, and autonomous prefectures shall direct the work of electing deputies to the people"s congresses at or below the county level in their administrative areas. ” The functions and powers of the election directing organization are as follows:

(1) The Standing Committees of the people"s congresses of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government promulgate local electoral regulations or operational measures in accordance with the Constitution and laws concerned.

(2) The Standing Committees of the people"s congresses of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government decide the election time of the deputies to the county-level people"s congresses in accordance with the Decision Concerning the Election Time of the Deputies to the County-level People"s Congresses Made by the Standing Committee of National People"s Congress.

(3) The Standing Committees of the people"s congresses of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government decide the specific number of deputies to the county-level people"s congresses in accordance with the Electoral Law and report it to the Standing Committee of the National People"s Congress for the record.

Other Electoral Organizations

1. The election work leading group under the dual leadership of higher Party committees and the Standing Committee. The election work leading group is an ad hoc organization and it is also the highest decision-making body.

2. The constituency directing group or branches of the Election committee.

3. The general election office of the standing committee of the higher people"s congress.

The establishment of electoral organizations varies from places to places, and there are only regulations in principle in the Electoral Law and the Provisions of the Standing Committee of the National People"s Congress for the Direct Election of Deputies to People"s Congress at or Below the County Level . As far as the powers and obligations of electoral organizations are concerned, they may be understood in accordance with the fundamental principles of the people"s congress institution. Electoral organizations shall exercise their authority so as to make the elections open and fair. As to the voters and candidates, it is of great significance to understand the relevant information about the election.


Chapter 3 Understanding the Electoral District Division

Tips:

The electoral district division means the commencement of election, and the related situations regarding the electoral district division need to be understood promptly, because whether the standing for election succeeds or not is probably concerned with division of electoral districts directly.

While the division of electoral districts is disadvantageous to oneself, he or she must adjust the method of standing for the election.

The division of electoral district is a key link, and whether the division is reasonable or not, which directly relates the fairness of election and the equality of the voting right.

Affirmatively Consult the Division of Electoral District Ahead of Time

As a result of the great importance of the division of electoral district, it is extremely essential to master the basic situations of electoral administrative organizations. And these situations include how many electoral districts are divided throughout the county (municipal districts, cities not divided into districts) altogether, which units are in the electoral district, how many voters " groups are divided, how much population each electoral district has, the number of voters, how the number of deputies are assigned, and so on. What needs to be paid attention to is that the division of electoral districts of deputies to the people " s congress is different between district- and county-level and townships.

The Electoral Law does not explicitly stipulate the principle of the division of electoral district, but from Articles 24 and 25 of the Electoral Law, certain principles directing the division of electoral district may be inferred:

1. The division of electoral district must facilitate the voters" participation and the electoral organization work, and simultaneously it should both facilitate the regional deputies and deputies from different circles. “ The zoning of electoral districts may be decided according to the voters" residence or on the basis of production units, institutions and work units. ”

2 . The division of electoral district must guarantee equal voting right. The number of people represented by each deputy from an urban electoral district shall be generally the same. The number of people represented by each deputy from a rural electoral district shall be generally the same.

Countermeasures for Disadvantageous Division of Electoral District

According to the Provisions of the Standing Committee of the National People"s Congress for the Direct Election of Deputies to People"s Congress at or Below the County Level, the division of electoral districts and assigning the number of deputies to various electoral districts is the of Election committee"s authority. What is worth noting here is that in order to control the election, some local organizations are skillful at doing some tricks in the division of electoral districts. For instance, in order to prevent somebody from being elected, they may break up the original electoral districts in which the candidate may be elected and recombine the electoral districts; or putting irrelevant constituencies together to make an electoral district; or not giving a thought to the vast difference of population in different constituencies so as to assign more quota of deputies to the area the Party and government organizations stationed; or by employing the excuse of different circles they order that deputies of special status must be selected.

The random division of electoral district and disguised controlling conducts easily harms the democracy of election from the source and violates voter"s right to vote.

While the voters entering into the election of deputies to the people"s congresses and ordinary voters think the division of electoral district is unreasonable or the quota distribution of members is illegal, they may promptly proposes an objection to the Election committee or the standing committee of the people"s congress.

While the voters entering into the election of deputies to the people"s congresses think the division of electoral district is obviously unfavorable to themselves, they may strive for their own election in other electoral districts, which perhaps has a favorable turn of fortune.


Chapter 4 The Confirmation of Voter"s Qualification

Tips:

Obtaining the qualification of a voter is the premise to exercise the voting right and the right to be elected, and the migrant population themselves may choose advantageous electoral district to conduct voters" registration in accordance with the law.

The Legal Significance of a Voter"s Qualification

The voter"s qualification refers to the qualification a citizen obtained for their right to vote. Because the Constitution and the laws have no special restrictions for the deputies to the people"s congresses on their right to be elected, therefore, as long as the citizens have the right to vote, they also have the right to be elected. In a sense, the voter"s qualification is not only the qualification a citizen obtained for their right to vote, but also is the qualification a citizen obtained for their right to be elected.

Therefore, the first step to enter into the election of deputies to the people"s congresses is to obtain a voter"s qualification. And the requisite procedure of obtaining a voter qualification is the voter"s registration.

Issues in Voter"s Registration

According to the Provisions of the Standing Committee of the National People"s Congress for the Direct Election of Deputies to People"s Congress at or Below the County Level, it is the Election committee"s authority to carry on the voter"s registration, examine the voter"s qualification, announce the voters" name list, accept appeals on different opinions regarding the voters name list and make correspondent decisions. And the Electoral Law also provides that the voter"s registration carries on according to the electoral districts. Therefore, the electoral district is an organization that only facilitates the citizens carrying on the voter"s registration and the election work, and the main subject that has the legal significance is the Election committee.

(1) The relationship between voter"s registration and electoral districts

Because the voter"s registration carries on in accordance with the electoral districts, therefore, the electoral district in which a citizen registered directly determines the implementation of his or her right to vote and the right to be elected. In the concrete election operating regulations made by different regions, the principle of voter"s registration is as follows, that is, “the staff is attached to their unit, the inhabitant is attached to their permanent residence, and the student is attached to their school.” This registration model mainly facilitates the organizational election, and thus the voter"s registration work has greatly shared by the units and the schools, which finally reduced the working pressure of the residents" committee and that of the grass root authorities. That is feasible in the tradition planned economy period. Whereas at present the social economy changes intensely, the personnel moves frequently, and this kind of voter"s registration principle may lead to wrongful and omitted registration, and because election is attached to the units, therefore in the vote thereafter, in addition, because of the influence of complex interpersonal relationship, the stereotyped registration model does not facilitate the voters" expressing their real desire.

The voter"s registration is carried out initiatively by the Election committee, not by the voters themselves, therefore, the voters and the deputy candidates must pay special attention to the voter"s registration information. If one thinks the voter"s registration does not facilitate the election, he or she can call for changing the voter"s registration in accordance with the methods and procedures for the migrant voters, and chooses to register in his or her permanent or habitual residence, and then carry on the choice of electoral districts.

(2) The registration of migrant population voters

The citizen who does not reside or work in his or her permanent residence is always called the migrant population. If one wants to exercises his or her right to vote and the right to be elected in the present residence or the working place, according to the Provisions of the Standing Committee of the National People"s Congress for the Direct Election of Deputies to People"s Congress at or Below the County Level, he or she must obtain the certification of a qualified voter offered by the original electoral district, and then carry on the voter"s registration at the present residence or the working place.

In practical operation, the voter concerned may apply to the related unit in the original electoral district or the permanent residence for shifting the voter"s registration, and the certification of a qualified voter and not having participated in the new election of deputies to the people"s congress offered by the original electoral district with the certification of permanent ancestral home, one may register in his or her present residence and working place. Because the Election committee and the electoral district are non-permanent organizations, during the dismissing or non-existing period of the original electoral district, the voters may request the working department of the standing committee of the people"s congress in his or her original electoral district offer the certificate.

Certificate of a Voter"s Qualification

By The Election committee of _________ (district/county/township)

The voter (full name) ________, male/female , born on_____ (day)/_____ (month)/_____ (year), is from our electoral district (area of jurisdiction), who has the right to vote and the right to be elected and has not participated in the election of deputies to the people"s congress of our electoral district (area of jurisdiction) in ________ (year).

Seal of the Election committee of _________ (district/county/township)

_____ (day)/_____ (month)/_____ (year)

In order to obtain the voter"s qualification in the present residence and the working place, the migrant voters had better pay attention to keeping the house leasing contract, house leasing receipt, receipt for water and electricity charge, telephone charge receipt and so on, while it is necessary one can apply for notarization by a notary public.

(3) Focusing on the number of voters who cannot participate in the election in one"s own electoral district

Because the voter"s residence and working place change frequently, therefore, the massive voters are unable to participate in the election actually, which leads to massive proxy voting, and what makes matter worse, some corruptive election practices occur during the process, thus the number of this part of voters should be paid attention to.

These massive voters include:

1. The voters separated form their household. These voters do not reside in their original permanent residences as a result of purchasing new houses, studying and getting married elsewhere.

2. The voters separated form their original enterprise. These voters refer to those whose organizational affiliation is although in the original unit, they never work there any more because of the reform or bankruptcy of their original enterprise, or doing business outside and so on.

3. The voters separated from their school. These voters refer to those whose organizational affiliation is still in the school, but they do not study in the school or work in the school.

4. The voters not having a supervising unit. These voters possibly become the persons who have no unit, no permanent residence authorities and no school to supervise them.

Disputes Concerning Voter Qualification

There are dispute settlement procedures concerning the voter"s qualification in the Electoral Law and the Civil Procedure Law.

Article 28 of the Electoral Law provides that “ Anyone who has an objection to the roll of voters may appeal to the election committee. The election committee shall make a decision on the appeal within three days. If the appellant is not satisfied with the decision, he may bring a suit in the people"s court at least five days prior to the date of election, and the people"s court shall make a judgment before the date of election. The judgment of the people"s court shall be final.”

Because of the statutory limitation of election, if one has an objection for certain voter"s qualification, one should bring it forward as early as possible.

The Electoral Law provides that the Election committee shall make decisions upon the appealing opinions in three days. In election practice, the Election committee may take nonfeasance, and will not make concerned decisions before the scheduled time, the voters or the deputy candidates may petition to the people"s court or the Standing Committee of the people"s congress after expiration date on which the Election committee shall make the decisions.


Chapter 5 Striving for the Deputy Candidate"s Nomination and Confirmation

Tips:

The larger the number of people who recommend candidates jointly, the better, and the form of recommendation must be received as soon as possible.

The voter who recommends deputy candidates jointly may not be the voter in this electoral district.

The one who has not become a formal deputy candidate may strive for being an elected deputy to the people"s congress in this electoral district or other electoral districts via the method of electing other voters (maybe alternatives better)as the deputies.

The Nomination of Deputy Candidate

The Electoral Law provides that political parties and people"s organizations may either jointly or separately recommend candidates for deputies. A joint group of at least ten voters also recommend candidates.

While nominating the deputy candidates, some issues should be paid attention to:

1. The nomination shall be proposed at the stipulated time. While the voters recommend the candidates jointly, the nomination is usually after the publicity of the voters" name list. After the announcement of voters" name list in the following three days, the voters" group meeting is to be held generally. If the voters" group does not hold the meeting, the joint-recommending voters may submit the form of recommendation to the electoral district subordinate to the Election committee.

2. The number of nominees shall not surpass the quota of requisite elected deputies in this electoral district.

3. The recommended deputy candidates are the voters of the county (city not divided into district or municipal district). The Electoral Law provides that the deputy candidates are nominated in accordance with the electoral district or the electoral unit. According to the general nomination practice of the political party and the people"s organization, the deputy candidates recommended jointly by voters may not be the voters of this electoral district. The Law Committee subordinate to the Standing Committee of the National People"s Congress has a special explanation to approve this practice.

4. The joint recommenders should be the voters in this electoral district.

5. The larger the number of joint recommenders, the better. According to the Electoral Law, the voters who obtain 10 voters" joint recommendation may be recommended, but the Electoral Law has provided definite procedures on the formal candidates. In order to obtain the formal qualification for candidacy and the majority voters" support, the larger the number of joint recommenders, the better, and one does not be afraid of being bothered.

6. Filling in the Recommendation Table of Deputy Candidate via written recommendation. Some local authorities provides the recommendation table must be received at the Election committee or the places it appointed, and it cannot be copied, therefore, thus the recommendation table had better be received as soon as possible.

The Confirmation of Formal Deputy Candidates

There are two ways to confirm the formal deputy candidates:

(1) The voters" group in this electoral district discusses, negotiates and then confirms the formal candidate"s name l ist according to the majority voters" opinion.

In practice, because some voters" groups do not hold meetings, and in addition, the information communication between various voters group"s is not unimpeded, thus it is hard for the voters and deputy candidates to know what is the majority voters" opinion and how to confirm the majority voters" opinion. As a result, an effective way obtaining the majority voters" opinion is to strive for more joint recommendations in this district. In practice, the more the joint recommendations, the better. At the same time, one may request the electoral district subordinate to the Election committee publicize the majority voters" opinion as well as the method of confirming the majority voters" opinion.

(2)The preliminary election

The Electoral Law provides that “ if it is difficult to reach a relative consensus on the name list of formal candidates, a preliminary election shall be held and a name list of formal candidates shall be determined in light of the sequence of the number of votes that the nominees have obtained in the preliminary election. ”

Preliminary election is not the necessary procedure producing the formal candidates, and it is only started while there is no consensus reached on the formal candidates. As to the consensus of opinions, at present there is still no legal explanation about it. If the deputy candidates obtain the joint recommendations as many as possible, they may get an advantageous position in the preliminary election. In addition, because the regulations on the preliminary election are legally blank, thus the deputy candidates must pay close attention to the time and the approaches of the preliminary election.

After the Publicity of Formal Deputy Candidates" Name List

The name list of formal candidates shall be publicized in public not later than 5 days prior to the date of election.

After the confirmation of formal deputy candidates, a vis-à-vis meeting between the voters and the deputy candidates may be organized by the Election committee and the candidates may answer the voters" question directly. The political parties, people"s organizations and the voters that recommend the deputy candidates may introduce the concerning information about the deputy candidates to the voters" group.

The one who has not become a formal deputy candidate may strive for being an elected deputy to the people"s congress in this electoral district or other electoral districts via the method of electing other voters as the deputies.

In the course of confirming the formal candidates, if one meets unfair treatment, or fails to be elected because of the rigidly assigned special status of the deputy candidates, one may either propose an objection or appeal to the Election committee, or appeal to the standing committee of the people"s congress simultaneously as well.


Chapter 6 Enhancing the Introduction of Deputy Candidates in the Electio n

Tips:

The new electoral law added some introductory method about the deputy candidates. Enhancing the introduction of deputy candidates legally may be helpful for the voter"s understanding about the candidates, and finally the candidates the voters trusted are elected.

Legal Foundation

Article 33 of the Electoral Law provides that “ The election committee or the presidium of the people"s congress shall introduce the candidates for deputies to the voters or deputies. A political party, people"s organization, voter or representative may introduce the information of the candidate it or he recommends at the group meetings of voters or deputies. The election committee may organize the candidates to interview with the voters and to answer the questions of the voters. However, the introduction of the candidates shall be stopped on the date of election.

The Significance of Introducing the Deputy Candidates

The introduction of the deputy candidates to the voters is actually one mode of election campaign in line with the laws in fact. At present it has been already employed in many elections, which has impelled the competitive election, and it is very helpful for the voters to know the factual information about the deputy candidates.

Methods of Introduction

(1) The methods that deputy candidates can be used in self-introduction

In the past election practice, the methods which the deputy candidates used in self-introduction includes the following types:

1. The election committee sponsored a meeting for the deputy candidates to introduce themselves to the voters. And the candidates always delivered certain speeches about the election, in which what he would do for the voters and how he would do were included.

2. The deputy candidates would put up posters introducing themselves. And the posters were generally put up in the residential area and other public places.

3. The deputy candidates printed self-introduction materials by themselves. And then these materials would be sent to the voters from household to household.

4. The deputy candidates introduced themselves by telephone.

5. The deputy candidates visited the voters from door to door so as to master the situations and introduced themselves.

6. The deputy candidates introduced themselves in public occasions.

7. The deputy candidates set up personal website via the Internet and introduced themselves to the voters.

During the introduction process, the deputy candidates might either consult with the experts concerned or retained a counsel at the beginning of the election.

(2) The recommendation methods employed by the recommenders and supporters of the deputy candidate:

1. The above-mentioned self-introduction method employed by the deputy candidates.

2. An advisory panel may be established to help promote the deputy candidates" election, and provide the opinions and suggestions to the deputy candidates.

3. The recommenders and the relatives of the deputy candidates subsidized the deputy candidates" self-introduction by petty donations.

Election Expenses

Under present China"s legal environment, the public collection of election funds from the voters, the enterprises or the organizations are not approved, which involves a legally blank issue, but if the relatives or friends of the deputy candidates want to support his or her election by petty donations, the current laws do not have such restrictive provisions.

The Opportunity for Introduction

Started from the voters" registration, the election process contains three important stages, that is, the stage of becoming the preliminary candidate, then the stage of becoming a formal candidate, and the final stage before the polling day. And the three stages are very important, especially the first three days before the polling day, and the candidates must increase the introduction intensity in particular. Above all, the last day"s sprint always decides whether the election is a success or a failure.

The voters who attended the election, even if they finally have not become the formal candidates, however the law provides that while in formal voting they have the right to elect the others as the deputies, thus it is suggested that self-introduction may continued in the constituency so as to strive for electing the others as the deputies to the people"s congresses.


Chapter 7 Focusing on Voting and Ballot Countin g

Tips :

What should be paid attention most in the voting and ballot counting stage is to prevent corruptive voting practices, fixing on the mobile ballot box and proxy voting.

Observing whether there exist misconducts disturbing the voters" voting at their free will.

The Voting Site

According to the provisions of the Electoral Law, in each electoral district, polling stations shall be set up, mobile polling boxes provided or election meetings held for the election. Generally speaking, polling stations include a main polling station (the main assembly hall) and several branch polling stations (the branch assembly halls). When the voters enter the polling station, at present there are basically two ways to grasp the voting time. In general, the voting period at township- and county-level electoral district is concentrated in a short period, for example, finishing the voting in a morning. In large- or medium-sized cities, the voting approach at the district-level of these cities always employs a period of time, for example, the voting period of time of Beijing in 2003 started at 7 a.m. and ended at 24 p.m. at night. The voters, while voting, must pay attention to the voting time of their electoral districts.

Receiving the Ballot

According to the provisions of laws and regulations, when the voter enters the polling station, they need to receive a ballot by using a voter"s certificate. While there is proxy voting, the trustee needs to show a written letter of proxy signed by the trustor and the trustor"s certificate of qualified voter so as to receive the ballot.

In the present voting, the method of secret ballot-casting has not popularized in the voting for the deputies to the people"s congresses. Some regions establish secret ballot-casting booths in the polling station with marks, and the voters may go to the secret ballot-casting booth, however, the method of secret ballot-casting is not a requisite way that is legally stipulated in the election of deputies to the people"s congresses. If the voters want to make sure his or her vote not known by the others, he or she had better go to the secret ballot-casting booth for a vote.

Some regions adopt the method of establishing several branch polling stations in an electoral district to carry through the voting, which does not facilitate the voters to vote at their own free will, and the votes needs to be informed of this.

Proxy Voting

According to the provisions of the Electoral Law, proxy voting can be employed in the election of deputies to the people"s congresses. The number of proxy ballots shall not be over three, and a written letter of proxy is also needed, but in the actual operation process some corruptive practices always easily appear. At present there are a lot of problems arisen from proxy voting, and some polling booths did not strictly carry on the requisite proxy voting in accordance with stipulation, for instance, some voters did not have a written letter of proxy, the number of proxy ballots was over the statutory three; while the trustee received the ballots, they did not have or show a requisite written letter of proxy and trustor"s certificate of voter, and the ballot of the absent voter"s were received fraudulently by other people, all of which should be supervised by the candidates and the voters.

The candidates and the voters should be informed of the number of proxy votes in this electoral district and the entrusted voters" name list, and pay attention to that whether there existed voters who not affiliated to this electoral district received ballots fraudulently. If corruptive practices were discovered, one should promptly report them or appeal to the election committees and the standing committee of the people"s congresses at all levels.

Mobile Ballot Boxes

In order to facilitate partial voters" voting, the Electoral Law provides that in the election of deputies to the people"s congresses, mobile ballot boxes may be allowed to use for carrying on the voting.

Before the polling day, the election committee should determine the voter‘s name list through the mobile ballot box, and the organizer of the election work should go to the voter"s residence to collect the voters" voting according to the name list on the polling day.

In the execution process, the corruptive voting practices in the mobile ballot box mainly occur in the following aspects: not strictly accepting the voting according to the name list, the ballot being exchanged and while voting in front of the mobile ballot box, if is difficult for the voters" to vote at their free will. The candidates may ask their relatives and friends and supporters to follow the mobile ballot box and supervise the voting. If corruptive conducts are discovered, they should be promptly reported them or appealed to the election committee and the standing committee of the people"s congresses at all levels.

The Voting via “Voting for Others ”

According to the provisions of the Electoral Law, in the election of deputies to the people‘s congresses at or below the county level, a column of “voting for others” is provided on the ballot, thus the voters may use it to vote for the informal candidates. The concrete method is to fill in the name of the candidate the voter himself or herself supported in the foresaid column and draw an “ ○ ”under it; and he or she may draw an “ Ⅹ ”under the column of the unsatisfied candidate"s name in the formal candidate"s name list. In the filling-in process, one must pay attention to that the alternative candidate"s name shall not be misspelled, or just write down the name without drawing an “ ○ ” under the column, or forget to draw an “ Ⅹ ” under the column of the opposed formal candidate"s name which may finally lead to the number of elected deputies surpassing that of the requisite deputies, and all the misconducts may make the ballots invalidated. Therefore, after casting the ballot, the voters had better check the ballot carefully.

In order to guarantee the voters can correctly use the method of voting other alternatives to cast the ballot, in some regions the voters who did not become a formal deputy candidate explains the foresaid method with introductory materials about it before voting. In the materials a duplicate ballot was included, and it can be used to explain the above-mentioned method.

A duplicate filled-out ballot is attached in the next part.

Ballot of the Election of Deputy to the ________ (County/District) People"s Congress

(The requisite number of this constituency is two. )

Name of the Candidate

A

B

C

Name of the Alternative

X

○ or Ⅹ

Notes:

1. The name list of the deputy candidate is arranged in accordance with the strokes of their surname.

2. Those who are for the candidate, draw an “ ○ ”in the mark column before the candidate"s name; if against the candidate, draw an “ X ”; if he or she chooses abstention, leave it blank; if he or she elects an alternative, he or she may write down the alternative candidate"s name in name column and draw an “ ○ ”in the mark column below the alternative candidate"s name, and if he or she does not draw an “ ○ ” in the name mark, the ballot for the alternative candidate will not be counted.

3. If the ballot-casting does not abide by the rules mentioned above or the marks made are not clear or unable to be identified, the ballot will be taken as an abstention

4. While the number of those who cast the affirmative vote is more than the number of requisite deputies, it shall be invalid; only while the total number is equal to or less than the demanded deputies may it be confirmed as valid.

Counting the Ballot and Calling out the Votes

The candidates and the voters should be informed of the registered voters in this constituency, the requisite number of voters, the factual number of voters, the number of proxy votes and the number of votes cast in the mobile ballot box. In particular, much attention should be paid to the surveillance on whether there exist corruptive practices in proxy voting and the mobile ballot box voting.

In the process of counting the ballot and calling out the votes, the voters should stay in the assembly room as long as possible and do not leave there so as to prevent the ballot box from being shifted and the ballots being counted not in public, and they should surveil whether the process of the ballot-counting and calling out the names of those being elected is fair or not, and they should request that the ballots be counted in public immediately but not overnight and the result be announced in time. If there are branch assembly rooms, the ballot-casting or calling out the names of those being elected should be supervised by the supporters and the voters in each branch assembly room. If the number of votes for the candidates is extremely close, they may apply to the election committee for another counting. If the illegal acts are discovered, the candidates or the voters supervising the election should stop them in public or report the situation to the election committee and the standing committees of the people"s congresses at all levels.

Second Round of Voting

If the result of the first round of voting leaves vacancies (namely, insufficient elected number of candidates) or nobody is elected, a second round of voting should be carried on in accordance with the provisions.

The time for a second round of votes shall be decided by the election committee, but it should not be delayed too long. In practice, some regions carried on the second round of voting immediately while the first round was finished, and in some regions it might be postponed for several days, and in some regions it was even cancelled or the election committee completely uses the mobile ballot box method to carry on the second round of voting. It is suggested that the candidates and the voters refer to the local provisions and regulations, and the detailed operational rules concerning the election adopted by their province, and immediately report the corruptive acts or appeal to the election committee and the standing committee of people"s congresses at all levels.

Chapter 8 Arrangement for Election Observation

Tips:

The election observation is helpful for the prevention of corruptive practices in election campaign, understanding the real condition in election, and the deputy candidates must try their best to dispatch their own election observers.

The Significance of Election Observation

Many problems will be arisen from the election process, for example, operational problems in technique, or intended cheating which includes candidate"s cheating, and election organizers" cheating is also included, and so on. Therefore, how to judge the problems arisen from the election is an extremely important matter, which may determine whether the election is equal or fair.

That whether the election is fair or not is judged by law, whereas, because legal action must be taken by the plaintiff, and the election be judged fair or not only via the approaches of cross-examination on evidence and court debate. The lawsuit process is extremely complicated, and it often will continue for a long time after the election finishes. Only at that time can a result be obtained through the lawsuit mechanism. Moreover, the evidence of corruptive practices in the election process must be proposed by related people, and all these situations make the election lawsuit be a complex process. The common practice used in international society is always through election observation system to carry on observations on the entire process, as a result, they can put forward opinions on whether the election process is fair or not, and then tells deputy candidates to make their judgment, or resort to the media so as to shape one common opinion.

Who Makes the Election Observation?

In China"s grass-root election practice, election observation had already been applied. Organizing the election observation by the candidates themselves is a major observation form in grass-root election. Such kind of election observation had already appeared, but there were only a few cases, and it was not institutionalized. The deputy candidates may send their own relatives or the people they trusted on behalf of the candidates to the election site, especially the voting scene to observe and monitor the voting and ballot-counting processes. And then the observer may report the result to the candidates.

It is advocated that the media reporters, legal practitioners, the retired cadres, the educators, and deputies to the People"s Congress participate in the election observation.

How to Carry on the Election Observations

If the election observation is carried on, the deputy candidate may propose to the election committee ahead of time by a written application, and request that the observers should be sent to monitor the entire observation process. If permitted, the observers may go to the observation sites and report the result to the candidates; if not permitted, the deputy candidates shall try his best to send out election observers on the scene on the polling day, and at the same time they should not conflict with the election work personnel.

The election observers of the deputy candidate"s should make some preparations for the observation such as getting informed of the election processes and mastering what are the corruptive acts in the election process while they make the observations, above all, they had better take down a written election observation record. In the observation process, much attention should be paid to the number of voters, actual cast ballots, whether there are ballots before the ballot box opens, whether the ballot issuing process conforms to the provisions, whether a certificate of voter is in exchange for a ballot, whether the entrusted has a written letter of proxy and whether the number of proxy votes that each entrusted has is more than three, and so on. It is suggested that the observer should follow the entire processes to supervise the mobile ballot box, and observe whether the ballot is issued according to the voters" roll, whether there exist such corruptive acts as exchanging ballots and receiving ballots fraudulently in the mobile ballot box voting process. And at the same time, they should observe that the number of the ballot publicly counted and the votes called out are equal, whether the secret ballot-casting is employed in the process, and whether the actual received ballots surpass the issued ballots, and so on.

If the observers sent out by the deputy candidate discovers the problem in observation process, they must retain each kind of documents and audio-video materials as many as possible, write down the record in written form, and propose promptly to the election personnel at the polling booth to correct the wrongful act or report it to the deputy candidate, and then collect the related evidence for the candidate so that it can be used in the election lawsuit afterwards. If the candidate"s observer does not discover any question in the election and thinks the election is fair or quite fair, he or she must also report the situation to the candidate so as to make the candidate acknowledge the result of election.


Chapter 9 Election Dispute Settlement

Tips:

The election disputes had better be settled in line with the Constitution and the laws.

The election disputes are inevitable in election, if they are settled in accordance with the Constitution and the laws, it would be helpful to guarantee an equal and fair election.

The Link in Which Electoral Disputes Easily Arisen from

v(1) The distribution of the quota of deputies

1. According to the provisions of the Electoral Law, each electoral district is assigned one to three deputies, and each deputy from the various electoral districts in towns represents a roughly equal population. And each deputy from the various electoral districts in the country represents a roughly equal population. In practice, the number of population represented by different deputies is great, which will affect the equal voting right, and it will finally produce different election results, thus disputes are easily arisen.

2. Disputes may also easily arise from the election committee"s emphasis or the suggestion that the deputy candidate must be deputies of specific status in consideration of different circles.

(2) Voter"s qualification

Voter"s qualification involves the exercising of citizen"s voting right and right to be elected. In election practice, it is unavoidable that there are many wrongful registrations and omitted registrations in the voter registration process, and the shift registration of the migrant voters may easily result in disputes.

(3) The determination of formal candidates

vBecause what are the voter"s majority opinions is hard to decide, moreover, there are no provisions regulating the preliminary election procedure, thus at the stage of confirming formal candidates, the election may be easily controlled by a small number of people, and therefore disputes arise.

(4) Proxy voting

Article 38 of the Electoral Law provides that “ a voter who is absent from his electoral district during the time of an election may, with the approval of the election committee and by written authorization, entrust another voter with a proxy vote. A voter shall not stand proxy for more than three persons.”
In practice, some voters stand proxy for more than three people, and they neither have the written authorization, nor get the approval of the election committee, and what was even worse is that some election work personnel or other personnel pretend to be other voters to fill in the ballot, which may easily lead to disputes.

(5) Mobile ballot box

In order to facilitate partial voters" voting, the Electoral Law provides that in the election of deputies to the people"s congresses, mobile ballot boxes may be allowed to use for carrying on the voting , however , in practice they are difficult to supervise, and corruptive practices may also easily arise from them..

(6) Ballot-counting

Calls out the votes and ballot-counting are one of election key steps in election, because of the short of election observation system, they may be manipulated and lead to disputes.

(7) Detailed operational rules or local regulations concerning election

As a result of the political and economical diversities in different regions, the Electoral Law provides that “the standing committees of the people"s congresses of the provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government may formulate rules for the implementation of elections in accordance with this Law and submit them to the Standing Committee of the National People"s Congress for the record.”

While the voters or the deputy candidates think the local electoral regulations or the detailed operational rules concerning election violated the Electoral Law and the Constitution, disputes thus appear.

Settlement of Election Dispute

The settlement approaches for election disputes include:

(1) Bringing a suit in the people"s court

The concerning law explicitly provides that at present the election case that the people"s court may accept is about the voter"s qualifications disputes.

Article 28 of the Constitution provides that “ anyone who has an objection to the roll of voters may appeal to the election committee. The election committee shall make a decision on the appeal within three days. If the appellant is not satisfied with the decision, he may bring a suit in the people"s court at least five days prior to the date of election, and the people"s court shall make a judgment before the date of election. The judgment of the people"s court shall be final.”

As to the civil compensation claim arisen from the election disputes, after the fact that the violation of their right to vote or right to be elected being confirmed by the election committee or the standing committee of the people"s congress, the concerning voters may file a civil compensation lawsuit to the people"s court in accordance with the law.

(2) Appealing to the election committee

All disputes that occur in the course of election may be appealed to the election committee in time, and furthermore appealed to the standing committee of the people"s congresses.

(3) Appealing to the standing committee of the people"s congresses

As to the disputes concerning the election committee, the voters may appeal to the standing committee of the people"s congresses. The standing committee of the people"s congress at the same level is the leading body of the election committee, and the standing committees of the people"s congresses of the provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities, cities divided into districts and autonomous counties are the supervising organs for the election of deputies below the county level.

(4) Filing accusations to the public security organ or the people"s procuratorate

A punishment in respect to management of public security shall be imposed upon the persons who commit any of the illegal acts that undermine the election and violate the regulations on management of public security. If a crime is constituted, the criminal liability shall be prosecuted .

(5) Proposing a review of constitutionality to the Standing Committee of the National People"s Congress.

If there are objections to normative documents, it must be reported to the standing committee of the people"s congress at the corresponding level until a review of constitutionality is proposed to the Standing Committee of the National People"s Congress.

According to the Working Routines on the Administrative Provisions, Local Regulations, Autonomous Regulations, Specific Regulations and Regulations of the Special Economic Zone Reported to the Standing Committee of the National People"s Congress for the record issued by the Standin g Committee of the National People"s Congress, it provides that if the State Council, the Central Military Committee, the Supreme People"s Court, the Supreme People"s Procuratorate and the Standing Committees of the people"s congresses of the provinces, the autonomous region, the municipalities consider that the regulations conflict with the Constitution or the laws, they may report it to the Standing Committee of the National People"s Congress for a review in written form, and it is the Standing committee Office"s job to forward the request to the Secretary General and then some special committees may be asked to review the regulations. Besides the above-mentioned organs, the other state agencies, social groups, enterprises or government-sponsored institutions as well as the citizens think the regulations conflict with the laws, they may report it to the Standing Committee of the National People"s Congress for an review in written form, which will first be investigated by the concerning personnel from the institutions subordinate to the Standing Committee. While a review is needed, it will be forwarded to special committees for a judicial review after it is approved by the Secretary General of the Standing Committee"s General Office. While the concerning reviewed contents involve two special committees, they will be forwarded to special committee concerned for a review. After the special committees and the working units of the Standing Committee receive the proposal letter for a review, they shall forward it to the Secretary Office subordinate to the Standing Committee"s General Office in time for a transaction.