Veteran Activist Seeks Nomination

Authorities target would-be independent candidates for China's legislature.
2011-11-29
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Sun Wenguang shown in an undated photo.
Sun Wenguang shown in an undated photo.
RFA

Authorities in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing have called in one veteran political activist and independent election hopeful for questioning, and closed down the microblog accounts of a second.

Retired Shandong University professor Sun Wenguang said he was surrounded and taken away for "a chat" by dozens of university security guards on Sunday.

Sun said the guards were waiting for him at the gates of the university where he has worked all his life, and where he now holds the status of retired worker.

"I had just posted up a couple of sheets of my election campaign notice on a display board in the canteen," Sun said.

"They followed me there, a group of men and a group of women, and they said they wanted a chat," Sun said.

"I told them that I had nothing to say to them; that I was taking part in the elections."

"They took down my notice and snatched away my display board," said Sun.

Sun said he was seeking nomination in forthcoming district-level elections to China's legislature, the National People's Congress (NPC), because he wants to wake people up politically so they can enjoy a greater level of freedom and democracy.

Widespread harassment

Would-be independent election candidates across China say they have endured widespread harassment from local officials in their bids to take part in the polls.

More than two million lawmakers at local levels will be elected in more than 2,000 counties and 30,000 townships through December 2012. The poll is held every five years.

However, officials have warned that there is "no such thing" as an independent candidate, and have ordered the media not to cover those who seek election outside the ruling Communist Party.

Apart from a token group of "democratic parties" which never oppose or criticize the Party, opposition political parties are banned in China, and those who set them up are frequently handed lengthy jail terms.

Elections have already been held elsewhere in China this year, amid complaints of corruption and irregular polling procedures.

Reported by Lin Jing for RFA's Cantonese service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudi
e.

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CH. 2: VIETNAMESE | BURMESE | KOREAN

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CH. 4: TIBETAN

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