Delegate deadline a hard ask for Beijing

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 June, 2012, 12:00am


Beijing said yesterday the city's party congress would be held from June 29 to July 3, but analysts said the later-than-usual start suggested that preparations for the upcoming national congress of the Communist Party might not be going as smoothly as planned.

The municipal party committee set the date for the five-day congress at a plenum yesterday. It would make Beijing the last provincial-level constituency to hold its party congress, Beijing Television reported.

The announcement suggests that the municipality will be hard-pressed to elect its delegates to the national congress before an end-of-June deadline.

The People's Daily earlier reported that the party leadership set June 30 as the deadline for constituencies to elect delegates to the national party congress. In practice, the regional party congress is intended to be a forum where delegates are named.

'There may be some problems, or a failure to reach consensus on crucial issues, behind the belated date,' said Hu Xingdou , a political commentator with the Beijing Institute of Technology.

Beijing will follow Chongqing as the last regional constituency to hold its own party congress to elect representatives. The delay in Chongqing is understandable, following the abrupt ousting of its party boss and Politburo member, Bo Xilai , in March.

It is believed that the 18th National Party Congress, which will see a once-in-a-decade leadership reshuffle within the Communist Party, will be held in the autumn, but no official announcement or hint has been given as to the month.

Hu said that if Beijing waited until the end of its party congress to approve its delegation, it would miss the deadline, which would be unusual.

Separately, two independent sources were cited by Reuters as saying that Beijing's mayor since 2008, Guo Jinlong , was tipped to replace Liu Qi as the city's party boss. Another possible candidate is Inner Mongolia's party boss, Hu Chunhua .