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Villagers in China's Wukan are excited over an upcoming local election on Saturday. Wukan made headlines last year after villagers threw out local Party officials for selling their land...after a villager was beaten to death in police custody. Now the elections are being watched to see if villagers can elect a village committe of their choice...without interference from local authorities.
Residents in Wukan village, Guangdong Province gathered at a local theater to hear electoral candidates give their speeches on Wednesday. Around 20 candidates are vying to be officials ahead of an election of a new village committee.
One candidate vowed to serve the people, protect their rights and take back the farmland that was illegally sold by corrupt officials and businessmen.
In December, Wukan villagers clashed with local authorities over illegal land grabs, and barricaded themselves in for 10 days.
Guangdong provincial authorities resolved the conflict by replacing Wukan's leadership with a rebel leader named Lin Zuluan, a villager who led the protests.
But tensions still remain in the village.
Some villagers are afraid of leaving their homes and claim that they have been followed and questioned by authorities.
One protest leader claimed to have been abducted and jailed by police for two weeks.
Despite the tensions, locals are looking forward to the local election as it gives hope against future abuse of government power and corruption.