03-06-2007 08:22

Despite the slow progress in direct elections at higher levels, the process of China's democratization is showcased at grass-roots levels. The right is enshrined in the Organic Law on Village Committee Elections. Today, let's have a look at how farmers are changing the country through their voices and votes in Anhui Province.

The rule of law is one of the landmark key phrases to portray how China is different from its past. But, is China making any significant headway on its legislative work? Let me ask panelists this question: What do you think of the controversies surrounding the Property Law?

Preparing for the direct election in Nanyou village.

With 5 days to go, there are two candidates.

They both try to win the voters.

Gao ChengYi is the head of the village. People are using this opportunity ahead of the election to decide whether the candidate can follow through on his promises.

Xie Guangshu is another leader in Nanyou. He said, "I had not intended to run in this election, because I'm quite old but if I could be elected, I will work for them."

Gao Chengyi, candidate for People's Congress, said, "I am very confident. But whether I will be elected will be decided by the villagers."

Over 900 farmers live in Nanyou village. Agriculture is their mainstay. People are hoping for a better life, and tomorrow, they will select THEIR deputy for the local people's congress.

Voting is voluntary. And the turn-out is quite impressive -- 92 percent.

"The election should be fair and open."

"I would like to vote for a deputy who can work for our people."

Voters are very serious about their rights. All citizens aged 18 or over have the right to vote. Across China, some 2 million deputies will be directly elected at the grassroots level.

Three hours later, the counting began.

Gao Chengyi looks a bit nervous. Xie Guangshu seems rather detached, waiting along with other villagers for the final result.

In the end, the winner is Gao Chengyi.

Gao Chengyi, deputy of the People's Congress, said, "I will bring up the people's wishes with the government, while helping the country promote the rule of law."

Gao is now the people's congress deputy for the village. And over the next five years,voters will see if he can make good on his word.

Direct elections of the people's congresses at the township and county level have been practiced in China for decades. There have been several major revisions to perfect the election system. Development of democracy is step by step in China. But as progress continues, people will acquire a stronger taste, for making their own decisions.


Editor:Liu Fang