Government departments in Guangzhou should accept the supervision of the municipal People's Congress, city Mayor Lin Shusen told the opening session of the lawmaking body's annual conference yesterday. To highlight the supervisory function of the People's Congress over the Government, Mr Lin devoted a section at the end of his annual Government Work Report to the subject. Economics dominated the report on the city's plan for the next five years, but Mr Lin's remarks over the increased power of delegates caught the attention of many attending. Rejecting claims that China should follow the democratic systems of Western countries, Chinese leaders have insisted that the mainland should build its own system by boosting the power of people's congresses but maintaining the Communist Party's monopoly of power. Echoing support for the mayor, Guangzhou newspapers yesterday devoted most of their congressional coverage to delegates renowned for needling the Government. One report profiled delegate Wang Zechu, 56, who suggested in 1999 that the ultimate 'decision authority for weighty matters' should rest with local people's congresses. Mr Wang's recommendation was adopted by the provincial People's Congress and became law last October. Another delegate, Li Kelie, deputy party secretary of the Guangzhou Railway Group, took the Government to task this year over a golf course and villa development he said illegally encroached on public park land. At preparatory meetings held on Wednesday, officials from Guangzhou's Forestry Department and the Baiyun District Administration Bureau sat down with Mr Li for 3.5 hours to explain why they had not responded more promptly to his complaints. Rejecting their explanations as unsatisfactory, Mr Li said he would wait a few days for the departments to provide him with further information, and would consider turning his complaints over to the Guangzhou People's Congress for formal investigation, the report said. Last year, opposition from congressional delegates forced a postponement of Guangzhou's plans to build an 800 million yuan (HK$752 million) opera house. Delegates said the money would be better spent on schools and the unemployed.