A podcast by Caixin’s Tom Hancock describes the local election defeat of Beijing’s lone independent candidate, the victim of a forced demolition in 2006. After passing through preliminary rounds by keeping a low profile, Xu Xiangyu claims that she fell at the final hurdle after local officials resorted to bribery and voter intimidation.
“It was my husband who first suggested that I should run for election. People in the village trust me, and I want to do something to help the farmers who weren’t properly compensated. So my husband said, why not try registering for the elections, it might help,” she said ….
But when election day arrived, the result wasn’t what Xu hoped for. Her rival candidate, a member of the village’s Communist Party office, won 375 out of the 593 votes cast, while Xu only gained 103 votes. Xu blames the police presence on election day for intimidating her supporters ….
But she also alleges that villagers received gifts of cigarettes and alcohol from the cunweihui or “village committee,” on the understanding that they would vote for the Communist Party candidate.
“There’s a painter called Huang Jun who lives in the village, he told me that he received wine and cigarettes from the local government before the election,” she said.
See more on the independent candidate movement, via CDT.