Tweeting To Electoral Victory In China? Maybe Not

NPR reports on Liu Ping and other independent candidates for local election in China who are running campaigns through microblogs and other social media:

More than 2 million lawmakers are being chosen at local levels in elections now under way across the nation. These elections take place every five years, and non-Communist Party members are allowed to stand.

But in Liu’s case, her record of labor activism, sparked by being laid off after three decades at a state-run steel factory, means the odds may have been stacked against her. At first, no one would even tell her where to pick up the nomination form for days. She did manage to submit one at the last minute, but in vain.

“When the preliminary candidates were announced, my name was illegally kicked off the list,” she says ruefully. “They told me, ‘It is an election under the leadership of the Communist Party, not an election in the United States.’ ”

When she went to the local election office in person to ask why she hadn’t been allowed to stand, she says she was told, “You want to be a people’s deputy? You should be a prostitute.” She cried on the way home.

Read more about the independent candidacies via CDT, including translated tweets from Lanzhou candidate Yu Nan who was one of the few to make it to the preliminary round before his candidacy was revoked with no official explanation.

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