`China should be careful about emerging rich politicians`
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Last Updated: Saturday, March 20, 2010, 14:22
  
Beijing: Dubbing "western style elections" as a "game for the rich", a top Chinese Communist Party official has ruled out multi-party elections in the country witnessing phenomenal economic growth.

"Different countries have different election rules and a socialist China won't follow Western election campaigns. As a socialist country, we cannot simply take the Western approach," Li Fei, deputy director of the legislative affairs commission under the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress said (NPC).

The Chinese Communist party has been in power in China uninterrupted in a one party rule for over 60 years.

The official also handed out a veiled warning to the country's multiplying number of billionaires and millionaires saying that in "Socialist China" the wealthy could not take to politics to safeguard their riches.

The official's warning came as China's rapid growth rate is increasing manifold the number of multi billionaires and millionaires who are trying to acquire political status thinking this could be means to save their riches.

"With the rapid development of Chinese society, a number of wealthy people are turning to political status, as certain positions of public office can help them voice their opinions and safeguard their wealth better," Li said.

"But we need to be particularly careful. We must ensure people from all sectors have their voices heard and cannot allow individuals to hold political influence through their resources," Li told the official 'China Daily'.

He said the existing NPC which is China's main legislature can ensure a wide representation and help keep society stable.

Li's comments are seen here as part of efforts by the Communist Party to stave off growing criticism over widening gap between the rich and the poor and rural and urban divide, as China moves fast towards becoming the world's most dominant economic and industrial power.

"Western-style elections, however, are a game for the rich. They are affected by the resources and funding that a candidate can utilise. Those who manage to win elections are easily in the shoes of their parties or sponsors and become spokespersons for the minority," Li was quoted as saying by the daily.

"Historically, the Chinese people have suffered a lot from instability. Keeping direct elections at the county and township level also makes it more convenient for voters to know their candidates", Li said.

"The priority at the moment is to perfect existing direct elections, instead of expanding it," he said, citing some of the latest changes in the Electoral Law which brought in equal representation between rural and urban voters.

The latest amendment requires "both rural and urban areas to adopt the same ratio of deputies to the represented population in elections of people's congress deputies", he added.

The new law granting equal representation in legislative bodies to rural and urban people within the confines of one party state was recently adopted by the NPC.

The 3,000-strong NPC, regarded as the ceremonial legislature, consist of mostly the members of the ruling Communist Party who contested and won the polls.

The new law was brought in by the party as a part of political reform to revitalise the system making it more compatible with modern China with in the confines of one party system which the Chinese leadership asserts as democracy with Chinese characteristics.

PTI


First Published: Saturday, March 20, 2010, 14:22


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