Minorities assured of voice at party congress

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 September, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 September, 1997, 12:00am

Competitive elections will be held during the forthcoming 15th Communist Party Congress to select a new Central Committee.

But arrangements would be made to ensure a balanced composition of the influential body, the China News Service reported yesterday.

Talks will be held with different groups to ensure women, ethnic minorities, intellectuals and other minority groups are represented.

The congress, due to start on September 12, will elect about 200 full members and 130 alternate members to the Central Committee, the body that chooses the Politburo and its Standing Committee - the most influential decision-making body in China.

The news report hinted that some congress delegates might not follow party instructions in casting their votes. 'There are specific rules in selecting the delegates . . . and the democratic rights of the delegates must be respected,' it said.

The congress would be attended by 2,048 delegates, who were themselves chosen in competitive elections, the report said. There were 2,227 candidates who vied to become delegates.

'The same principle [of competitive elections] will be applied [to the Central Committee vote] and the gap between the number of candidates and seats available will not be less than 10 per cent,' the report said.