China’s group of self-declared independent candidates, who have waged campaigns for local election over social media, have received a boost after two won their elections in Foshan. The Telegraph reports:
In the south, Guo Huojia, 59, and Li Youzhou, 37, won seats in the city of Foshan. Both men have fought the government for the rights of villagers who have had their land grabbed for property developments, a key source of complaint in the Chinese countryside.
Mr Guo, who has taken his local government to court in the past, and who may still be under monitoring by security officials, said he was “very excited” by his success, which saw him beat his Communist party-backed rival by over 2,000 votes.
“I did not think my chances of winning were very high. The villagers put me forward for the seat, so I will do my best to solve their problems,” he added.
The independent candidate movement, which has been broadly suppressed by authorities, has been joined by a young celebrity model in Beijing, whose campaign has been getting a lot of attention online.