about congress

China's Electoral System

There are five central and local levels of people's congresses in China. They are the National People's Congress, the people's congresses of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government, the people's congresses of cities divided into districts, and autonomous prefectures, the people's congresses of cities not divided into districts, municipal districts, counties and autonomous counties, and the people's congresses of townships, ethnic minority townships and towns. The people's congresses at all levels are constituted through democratic elections.

The basic points of China's electoral system are:

All citizens of the People's Republic of China who have reached the age of 18 have the right to vote and stand for election, regardless of ethnic background, race, sex, occupation, family background, religious belief, education level, property status or length of residence. People who have been deprived of their political rights according to law do not have the right to vote and stand for election. One voter has only one vote in each election.

Deputies to the people's congresses of cities not divided into districts, municipal districts, counties, autonomous counties, townships, ethnic minority townships and towns are elected directly by their constituencies. Deputies to the NPC and the people's congresses of the provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the Central Government, cities divided into districts, and autonomous prefectures are elected by the people's congresses at the next lower level.

All political parties and mass organizations may either jointly or separately recommend candidates to be deputies. Candidates may also be recommended by a minimum of 10 voters in a direct election and 10 deputies in an indirect election.

In both direct and indirect elections, the number of candidates must exceed the number of delegates to be elected and the elections must be competitive. In a direct election, the number of candidates should exceed the number to be elected by one-third to 100%. In an indirect election, the number of candidates should exceed the number to be elected by 20% to 50%.

Voters may vote for a candidate, vote against a candidate, vote for someone else, or abstain. In a direct election, more than half of the eligible voters in the election district must vote in order for the election to be valid, and candidates who receive the votes of a majority of the voters are elected. In an indirect election, candidates receiving the votes of a majority of the deputies voting are elected. The costs of elections are paid for out of the state treasury.