Evolution of the vote

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 September, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 September, 2005, 12:00am

1978: Collapse of the village commune system prompts villages to experiment with idea of electing leaders placing their fingerprint under their preferred candidate.

1980: first elected village committee established in Guozuo village in Guangxi province.

1987: Organic law on electing village committees is passed by the National People's Congress

and trials begin in 1988.

1998: second organic law passed requiring all villages to hold elections every three years.

1998 and 2001: Buyun township in Sichuan province becomes the first to organise direct elections for township-level mayor, with 16,000 people able to take part.

1998 onwards: experiments continue at township level for election of mayors and Communist Party secretaries.

2003: elections for position of township mayor put on hold after ruling by Central Party Committee

2005: Sichuan first to call for province-wide elections for position of township party secretary.