Committee Selection Belies “Intra-Party Democracy”
Delegates to the Communist Party’s 18th Party Congress moved closer to formalizing their leadership transition on Tuesday, trimming the list of nominees for a new Central Committee which will appoint a Politburo and Politburo Standing Committee before the conclusion of the conclave on Thursday. Xinhua News broke down the process:
On Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, all delegations held meetings and carried out preliminary elections for candidates of members of the new Central Committee and of members of the new CCDI, as well as for candidates of alternate members of the CPC Central Committee.
The preliminary elections were competitive with elimination margins of more than eight percent.
The preliminary elections were conducted under the supervision of scrutineers in accordance with the election methods adopted at the congress. The results of the preliminary elections are valid, according to the presidium’s third meeting.
On Tuesday afternoon, the delegations will hold meetings to mull over the draft name-lists of candidates for members and alternate members of the new CPC Central Committee and the new CCDI.
A formal election will be held on Wednesday morning.
The South China Morning Post called the vote “another embarrassing blow to the Communist Party’s much touted internal democracy,” and observers commented that the preliminary results do little to reinforce the belief that the Communist Party is moving toward a more democratic process for choosing its leadership:
Hong Kong-based analyst Johnny Lau Yui-siu said the results laid bare the leadership’s reluctance to push for meaningful political reform.
“It basically disappoints everyone who still had hopes for the top-down approach to intra-party democracy,” he said.
He said the fact that Xinhua’s report yesterday did not mention the exact percentage of nominees eliminated showed the leadership did not have much to show off about.
“If we look at the 13th party congress 25 years ago, when the idea of electoral competition was first introduced with [5 per cent more candidates than seats on] the Central Committee, we’ll see the talk of intra-party democracy is nothing but deception,” Lau said.