The Communist Party's powerful Central Organisation Department, its top personnel management organ, has pledged to apply a tougher yardstick to the exceptionally rapid promotion of cadres following a spate of nepotism controversies. The main story on page two of the party mouthpiece People's Daily yesterday, headlined "Strict standard must be applied to making exceptions for regular promotions of cadres", said "anomalies in promotions should by no means become an excuse to defy the existing principles and regulations, nor a pretext for seeking personal gain". It is an open secret that "Zhong Zuwen " - the author of the commentary - is a pseudonym for the Central Organisation Department. After the high-profile article appeared, Chang Junsheng was sacked as deputy head of the Communist Youth League committee in Wangjiang county, Anhui, after sparking a public outcry. Thousands of mainland microbloggers had accused the 22-year-old of securing two promotions in six months with the help of his father, Chang De , the retired chief of the county's public sector reform commission. The article said personnel organs at different levels should take extra care when advancing cadres for exceptional reasons. "They have to report to their senior organisation departments before any procedure is kicked off, aside from seeking their approval before the formal appointments of the cadres," the article said, adding that senior departments had to apply strict checks to ensure qualified candidates. Several other young mainland officials have been accused of benefiting from nepotism. Wang Fang, 29, the secretary of the youth league committee in Leiyang county, Hunan, was criticised after she was confirmed to be the daughter-in-law of Lei Qiusheng, a former head of the propaganda department. Xu Tao, the deputy head of Xiangtan county, Hunan, was dismissed from his post after it was revealed that his father and mother were either retired or incumbent local officials. Xu was promoted seven times in five years before becoming deputy party head of the county in March.