While the Communist Party was eager to portray a more open image for its National Congress ahead of the Olympic Games next year, it still tried every means to keep its affairs behind closed doors. Reporters invited to the closing ceremony were locked in a distant stuffy corridor for more than an hour before being allowed into the auditorium. Propaganda officials obviously tried to keep reporters from knowing too much about the crucial part of the congress - the election of Central Committee members and the number of ballots each candidate received. But yesterday's voting was really just a formality because the number of candidates - who were chosen through a primary election - was equal to the number of the seats. Journalists were asked to arrive at the Great Hall of the People early and were kept queuing outside the South Gate for over an hour. When they were finally admitted, they were asked to wait again, although the congressional delegates had already completed voting for the Central Committee. When bored and impatient journalists were finally admitted to the auditorium, delegates were voting on other items on the agenda. Delegates are asked to raise their hands if they approve the various political reports and proposals to amend the Communist Party's charter. President and party general secretary Hu Jintao , who presided over the meeting, asked: 'Who wants to vote against the items, please raise your hand.' After a moment of silence, staff standing at different corners of the hall shouted loudly: 'None.' There were similar procedures to find out who wanted to abstain and the answers were also 'none'. The well-expected answers were followed by an announcement by Mr Hu: 'Approved unanimously'. After the congress ended, former president Jiang Zemin waited patiently for Mr Hu to change his glasses as they prepared to leave. Mr Hu, who noticed Mr Jiang, quickly greeted him and invited him to walk down the aisle together. The only person who did not raise his hand to endorse the report by the party graft watchdog was retired president Hua Guofeng , who sat at a corner on the stage. However, the 86-year-old might just have forgotten to raise his hand as he enthusiastically raised his hand when voting for other items.