SHANGHAI, Mar 13 -- THIRTY-three lawmakers have proposed to set a limit on the seats possessed by government officials in the next National People's Congress, to make more space for grassroots deputies in the top legislative body.
In many provinces, more than half of the People's Congress members are government officials, so it's difficult for them to fulfill their constitutional responsibility of supervising the government's work, according to the proposal submitted by these members, all from China's southern Guangdong Province, Guangzhou-based New Express reported today.
So the proportion of government officials in the congress should be reduced and setting up a quota, they added.
Besides, government officials may be lost when facing some practical problems that are related to citizens' daily lives if they have little time to do the research, said Deng Mingyi, one of the sponsors of the proposal.
However, government officials can be "invited" or "attend as a non-voting delegate" to the congress to learn more about what citizens have on their minds and improve the government's performance, Deng said.
Profiles of those government officials in the congress should also be published to the public, as many people still know nothing about the People's Congress members, Deng said.
Deng also noted that the NPC's new draft to increase the number of representatives of rural migrant workers in the next congress could be hampered if officials continue to take too many seats.
"It happened before that seats for the workers and farmers were given to representatives from other fields," Deng said.
A draft on the elections for next year's National People's Congress was submitted to the ongoing 10th NPC annual session for deliberation on March 8, stating that an increase of lawmakers for farmers and industrial workers is needed.
The draft said millions of rural migrant workers should have their own representatives seated in the national parliament, adding that NPC deputy numbers from these groups has dropped in recent years.
Sources with the NPC Standing Committee said that no migrant worker has ever been elected as a deputy.
"China's migrant laborer population has become larger and is growing into one of the mainstays of the country's working force," said Sheng Huaren, vice chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, when making a presentation on the draft resolution to about 3,000 legislators. "They should have a specific number of law makers to represent their rights and interests."
"NPC deputies must have a wide representation which is a fundamental requirement of the NPC system, and an aspect of the socialist democracy," Sheng said.
The draft is set to be voted on Friday.