Beijing: China today said over 900 million voters are expected to directly elect more than 2.5 million lawmakers in county and township elections to be held this year.
"Beginning in 2016, elections will be held for new people's congresses at the county and township levels across the country," said Zhang Dejiang, head of China's legislature, National People's Congress (NPC).
"This will be a major political event in China, and an important step in the development of socialist democracy," Zhang said, delivering a work report on NPC Standing Committee.
Under China's current Electoral Law, deputies to people's congresses at the level of townships and counties, who account for more than 90 per cent of lawmakers at all levels nationwide, are elected directly by voters.
The contestants, however, are nominated by the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC).
They in turn elect deputies to people's congresses of cities who then elect deputies at the provincial level.
Deputies of the NPC which has the reputation of being a rubber stamp parliament for routinely endorsing CPC policies are elected by people's congresses of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities.
"Adhering to the (Chinese Communist) Party's leadership, we will fully promote democracy, follow procedures in strict accordance with the law, and strengthen guidance and monitoring of the election work, in order to ensure that elections are held honestly and election results meet public expectations," Zhang said.