BEIJING — The Communist Party of China (CPC), the world’s largest governing party, will convene its 20th national congress in the second half of the year.
The quinquennial event will review the work of the past five years, chart the course for the future, and elect new central leadership.
The Party is in the process of electing delegates to the congress, which started in November 2021.
Here is a closer look at how the Party elects 2,300 delegates from its over 95 million members.
What is the procedure
The delegates are elected from 38 electoral units, including provincial-level regions, central authorities, the central financial sector, and Beijing-based centrally-administered state-owned enterprises.
The whole procedure generally consists of five parts: the nomination of candidates by Party members; a nominee review; public notification of the candidates for feedback; candidate shortlists; and the final vote in each electoral unit.
The elected delegates will be vetted by a qualification review committee before the national congress.
For example, south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region elected by secret ballot 48 delegates to attend the 20th national congress at a two-day CPC Guangxi regional congress closed Friday.
The final vote took place following a meeting of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Regional Committee of the CPC on April 17, which came up with a 55-people list of preparatory candidates for the CPC National Congress delegates.
The process has engaged 100 percent of Guangxi’s primary-level Party organizations and 99.15 percent of Party members, said local authorities, adding that Party members working on the frontline accounted for more than 70 percent of all the nominees.
Who is eligible
The delegates should be exemplary members of the Party and meet stringent criteria. Political integrity is put first in the assessment. According to the Party leadership, the candidates should first and foremost have solid ideals and convictions and high moral standards.
Qualified delegates must be clean and honest. Corrupt officials will be banned from being nominated. In Guizhou Province, a negative list has been established to disqualify those who violate political discipline and rules or have problems with integrity, among others, for nomination as delegates.
Different electoral units have their specific requirements for selecting candidates. Nominees in Tibet must have a strong sense of community for the Chinese nation and take a clear-cut stand against separatism.
“The candidates’ overall performance and qualifications were taken into careful consideration when I made my recommendations,” said Zhao Dianbang, a veteran CPC member from Qinghai Province who has been a Party member for more than 50 years.
How seats are allocated
The 2,300 delegates are elected by 38 electoral units. The seats in the 20th CPC National Congress are allocated mainly based on the number of Party organizations and Party members of each electoral unit.
The quotas for delegates to previous CPC national congresses are also taken into account when it comes to the allocation of seats to different electoral units.
According to the allocation formula, the number of delegates to the 20th CPC National Congress for each electoral unit is basically the same as the 19th national congress.
By convention, some retired Party officials will be invited to attend the 20th national congress.
How to ensure a broad spectrum
As the delegates are to represent 95 million CPC members, their spectrum is carefully designed. They will come from all walks of society, different regions of the country, and various demographic groups, including both genders and ethnic minorities.
Grass-roots members will account for a significant proportion of the delegates. Party members working on the frontline should have at least one-third of the total seats, while those for officials will not exceed two-thirds. Excellent members among farmers, workers, and technicians will be priorities.
Different professions, ranging from business people, scientists to doctors, as well as different levels of administrative units, from provinces, metropolises to villages, will all be represented.
The Party authorities in Nanchang, the capital city of east China’s Jiangxi Province, distributed a list of 133 local grass-roots role models to its 260,000 members as a candidate reference.
In southwest China’s Yunnan Province, home to various ethnic minority groups, delegate seats are properly distributed among them.
How to have a clean election
Canvassing and buying votes are strictly prohibited.
Party disciplinary agencies and organization departments nationwide have been gearing up for the election, with tip-off hotlines operating round the clock to process people’s complaints.
Large-scale awareness campaigns have been unfurled, using previous election scandals as examples to warn Party members of malpractice and deter potential offenders.
All steps of the election procedure are under close supervision, and those who violate Party disciplinary rules and election protocols will not be tolerated.