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NPC Q&A: How are NPC deputies elected?

2015-03-05 09:55 Xinhua Web Editor: Gu Liping

The 12th National People's Congress (NPC), China's national legislature, now has 2,964 deputies for a five-year term since 2013.[Special coverage]

The NPC deputies represent all Chinese people to decide on state affairs.


All citizens of the People's Republic of China over age 18 have the right to vote and run in an election, regardless of ethnic background, race, sex, occupation, family background, religious beliefs, education, property status or length of residence. Only those who have been stripped of their political rights, such as a convicted criminal, may not vote or run in an election.

According to the Electoral Law, deputies to county- and township-level people's congresses are directly elected by voters, while deputies to people's congresses above the county level are elected by deputies at the next lower level.

Deputies to the NPC are elected by people's congresses of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government. The armed forces elect their own deputies.

All parties and people's organizations may jointly or separately nominate candidates as NPC deputies, and a group of more than 10 deputies to a provincial-level people's congress may also nominate a candidate.

NPC deputies are elected by secret ballot, and candidates should outnumber deputy vacancies by 20 percent to 50 percent.

The number of NPC deputies is capped at 3,000, and their distribution is decided by the NPC Standing Committee.

The number of NPC deputies in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, as well as electoral procedures there, are subject to separate regulations issued by the NPC Standing Committee.


A namelist of candidates for deputies to a people's congress is made public 20 days before the election, then officially announced five days before the election.

Voters may vote for or against candidates or abstain from voting. They also have the option of voting for people besides the candidates on the official ballot.

Candidates who run in an election can be deemed elected if they receive more than half of the votes. If the number of candidates who receive more than half of the votes exceeds the amount of vacancies, those with more votes are deemed elected.

Election results are declared valid or invalid by the presidium. Expenses for the election are covered by the State, and the election is presided over by the NPC Standing Committee.

NPC deputies are subject to supervision by their electoral units, which also have the right to recall any deputies they have elected. An NPC deputy may submit his or her resignation letter to the standing committee of the people's congress that elected him or her.

If, for any number of reasons, a deputy must resign during his or her tenure, a by-election will be held by the same electoral unit to decide a replacement.

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