Delegates' vote shows protest at crackdown

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 14 March, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 March, 1998, 12:00am

Delegates to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference showed their disapproval yesterday of the Government's anti-corruption and job creation efforts by giving an unusually low number of votes to three nominees for vice-chairmen.

Ren Jianxin, outgoing President of the Supreme People's Court, was elected by 1,752 deputies. The 217 votes against him and 73 abstentions were considered large.

Mr Ren, also Secretary of the Central Commission of Political Science and Law, is seen as a top graft-buster.

Zhang Siqing, Procurator-General of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, was elected despite 234 votes against him and 76 abstentions.

There has been intense debate at CPPCC meetings amid calls for harsher punishment for corruption.

Mr Ren and Mr Zhang, both viewed as proteges of retired National People's Congress Chairman Qiao Shi, soon relinquish their judicial posts.

Among those elected, State Councillor Li Guixian had the highest number of votes against him, 372, and 110 abstentions.

Delegates said Mr Li performed badly when he was in the State Council and as head of labour and personnel issues was behind recent layoffs.

Incumbent chairman Li Ruihuan was re-elected with 2,025 votes of support.

Twelve incumbent vice-chairmen were re-elected, including Ye Xuanping,Taiwan affairs expert Wang Zhaoguo, 94-year-old writer Ba Jin and Hong Kong businessmen Ann Tse-kai and Henry Fok Ying-tung.

Several state councillors and ministers joined the CPPCC either as vice-chairmen or standing committee members.

State councillors Song Jian and Chen Junsheng, former electronics industry minister Hu Qili and ex-planning minister Chen Jinhua were elected as vice-chairmen.

Coal Industry Minister Wang Senhao and Power Industry Minister Shi Dazhen were elected as standing committee members, as were the son of late leader Deng Xiaoping, Deng Pufang, and Shenzhen party boss Li Youwei.

The executive vice-chairman of the All China Federation of Commerce and Industry, Zheng Wantong, was elected secretary-general while outgoing secretary-general Zhu Xun became a standing committee member.