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What happens when independent candidates run for office in a one-party system? Well as many are finding out in China’s Communist Party lead National People’s Congress, detentions and beatings are the order of the day. Here’s the story.
The National People’s Congress is supposedly the highest state body in China. But as the BBC describes it, “In truth, it is little more than a rubber stamp for (Communist) Party decisions.” So when some independent candidates ran on a platform of investigating rigged elections, controlled by the Communist Party, for the Communist Party-dominated National People’s Congress, there was trouble.
According to a report by Sound of Hope Radio, independent candidate Li Sihua and her lawyer Wang Cheng were planning on visiting government offices in Xinyu City in Jiangxi Province, to investigate illegal activity in the latest elections. They were supposed to meet with officials on September 29, but on the same day, local authorities abducted Li Sihua before the meeting took place. Her whereabouts are still unknown.
Then, at 10 that evening, lawyer Wang Cheng also had a run in with authorities. A group of armed police forced their way into his hotel room. He was severely beaten and taken to the local police station. He was released the next afternoon.
And they aren’t the only examples. Many independent candidates are finding themselves the victims of threats and harassment by authorities. Prior to the announcement of the 13 independent candidates for the National People’s Congress on September 30, most were detained or placed under surveillance.