Local elections in Georgia: Congress recommends further levelling of the playing field, reducing polarisation and increasing participation of women
Strasbourg, 23 March 2022 – At its 42nd Plenary Session, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe adopted, on 23 March 2022, a recommendation on local elections in Georgia (2 October 2021) following an election observation mission deployed by the Congress from 29 September to 3 October 2021.
The Congress delegation expressed satisfaction with orderly Election Day procedures, in particular against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rapporteur David Eray (Switzerland, EPP/CCE) welcomed a technically well organised and generally calm Election Day and an election legislation generally conducive to holding democratic elections.
However, the rapporteur highlighted observed irregularities that, to some extent, affected the quality of the election process. In the recommendation, the Congress regrets an unnecessarily complex election legislation, widespread allegations of intimidation, vote-buying as well as of pressure on candidates and voters. Regrettably, the elections were also marked by an unlevel playing field, emanating from the dominance of the ruling party which largely benefited from the advantage of incumbency.
“To our regret, the election campaign was characterised by extremely high tensions and the elections, instead of being about local issues, became rather a referendum about the current government. As a result, the local elections were overshadowed by national issues and I would even say that democracy on local level was taken hostage of the overall national political situation.”, emphasised Mr Eray.
In light of these observations, the adopted recommendation invites the authorities of Georgia to implement measures to step up the effectiveness of all legal provisions to ensure a more even level-playing field, to increase participation of women, and to prevent the misuse of administrative resources. It recommends strengthening the regulatory framework to ensure accountability and transparency of campaign finances.
Lastly, the report encourages national authorities to consider introducing effective measures to fight online fake news and hate speech to tackle polarisation of the society.
- Report CPL(2022)42-02
- See also: Vote on 2 October was a missed opportunity for local democracy in Georgia, says Head of Congress delegation
Further to the invitation by the Georgian authorities, the Congress carried out an election observation mission from 29 September to 3 October 2021 and observed the local elections held on 2 October as part of a joint international election observation mission together with the OSCE/ODIHR and the European Parliament. The Congress mission comprised 18 members representing 15 Council of Europe countries who observed elections in 9 regions of Georgia, visiting in total some 120 polling stations from the opening until the closing.
GLOBALink | Symposium held to foster understanding of key CPC congress
BEIJING, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- Diplomatic envoys to China, think tank experts and journalists from nearly 80 countries exchanged their views on the guiding principles of the recently concluded 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at a forum on Wednesday.
The symposium titled "Hong Ting Forum: Understanding the 20th CPC National Congress" was jointly hosted by the Institute of Party History and Literature of the CPC Central Committee and Xinhua News Agency at the Museum of the Communist Party of China in Beijing.
Speaking at the forum, Qu Qingshan, president of the Institute of Party History and Literature of the CPC Central Committee, said the pivotal CPC congress reviewed the work of the past five years and the great transformations seen in the first decade of the new era, laid out the Party's missions and tasks on its new journey of the new era, and outlined the development goals and major policies of the Party and the country for the next five years and beyond.
Think tank exchanges are important because they provide a platform for the international community to comprehend the new concepts, domains and expressions pertaining to the CPC's history and theories, thereby paving the way to gain a deeper understanding of China, its people and the Party, said Qu, who is also chairman of the National High-Level Think Tank Council of the institute.
Fu Hua, president of Xinhua News Agency, shared his insights on the milestone CPC congress. The report to the 20th CPC National Congress is a political declaration and a program of action for the Party to bring together the Chinese people of all ethnic groups and lead them in securing new success for socialism with Chinese characteristics, Fu said when addressing the forum, adding that the report serves as a window for the world to understand China.
To comprehend the 20th CPC National Congress, it is imperative to gain a profound understanding of the Party's new theories, its distinctive character featuring self-confidence and self-reliance, as well as the global vision the CPC has maintained, said Fu, who is also director of the Academic Committee of New China Research of Xinhua News Agency.
The agency will continue to boost its global communication capabilities, better convey the stories of China, the CPC and the new era, and serve as a bridge connecting China and the rest of the world, Fu said.
The opening of the forum was presided over by Lyu Yansong, editor-in-chief of Xinhua News Agency and deputy director of the Academic Committee of New China Research.
Other participants also exchanged their insightful perspectives both online and offline on topics covering the key role of the Party, Chinese modernization and China's fine traditional culture.
Produced by Xinhua Global Service
China Focus: Senior officials explain key report at Party congress
BEIJING, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- The report of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), adopted at the recently concluded 20th CPC National Congress, serves as a political manifesto and a guideline for action to achieve new victories on socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era, a senior official said Monday.
Jiang Jinquan, director of the Policy Research Office of the CPC Central Committee, at a press conference held in Beijing said it is a crystallization of the collective wisdom of the CPC and the people, born from a process embodying intraparty democracy and whole-process people's democracy.
The report will have profound and significant influences on the cause of building a modern socialist country in all respects and advancing national rejuvenation on all fronts, and will help the international community better understand the CPC's governing philosophy, its approach to governance and its ability to govern, he said.
The report has a special section on theoretical innovation. It has elaborated what the CPC has done and plans to do to integrate the basic tenets of Marxism with China's particular realities and fine traditional culture, said Sun Yeli, vice head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, at the same press conference.
The report also explained the worldview and methodology of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, Sun said.
China is firmly opposed to other countries imposing their own development model on China, and will never "export" the Chinese model or ask other countries to "copy" China's practice, Sun said.
The report places the "quality of development" in a more prominent position and underscores high-quality development in various aspects, including economy, society, culture and ecology, said Mu Hong, deputy head of the Office of the Central Commission for Deepening Reform and deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, at the press conference.
It confirms high-quality development as the top priority for building a modern socialist country, and such confirmation shows why the quality of development is important to the overall picture and in the long run, Mu said.
RULE OF LAW
An entire section of the report is dedicated to the rule of law, reflecting the great importance the CPC Central Committee attaches to the matter, said Chen Yixin, secretary general of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the CPC Central Committee, at the press conference.
It is a political declaration of the CPC to advance law-based governance in all respects and a programmatic document for the CPC to advance the rule of law in China, said Chen.
The report provides a comprehensive explanation of the role, overall requirements and key tasks of the rule of law, Chen noted.
FULL, RIGOROUS SELF-GOVERNANCE OF THE PARTY
The report has put forth the idea of improving the systems for exercising full and rigorous self-governance, marking a first for a report at the Party national congress, said Tang Fangyu, deputy head of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee, at the press conference.
In light of the major risks and grave challenges facing the Party, full and rigorous self-governance of the Party should be exercised in a holistic, systemic, continuous manner and with high-caliber, said Tang.
Therefore well-structured, scientific, well-rounded, unified and efficient systems will be formed for exercising full and rigorous self-governance, Tang added.
The report urges the whole Party to bear in mind that full and rigorous self-governance is an unceasing endeavor and that self-reform is a journey with no end, said Wang Jianxin, chief of the publicity department of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Commission of Supervision, at the press conference.
Noting the remarkable achievements of the anti-corruption fight over the past decade, Wang said the situation still remains grave and intricate, and the battle against corruption is fierce and must be won.
The strategic plans rolled out in the report should be implemented, and an unstoppable anti-corruption momentum should be sustained to ensure that officials do not have the audacity, opportunity or desire to become corrupt, said Wang.
Xi Jinping attends group discussion with delegates from Guangxi to 20th CPC National Congress
BEIJING, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Comrade Xi Jinping on October 17 joined a group discussion with delegates from Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region who are attending the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). During the discussion, he stressed that the report to the Party's 20th National Congress further charts the way forward for the cause of the Party and the country, and it will serve as a political manifesto and guide for our Party to unite and lead the Chinese people of all ethnic groups to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics on the new journey in the new era.
Xi said that, to study and implement the spirit of the Party's 20th National Congress, we need to have a good command of the importance of the work of the past five years and the great changes in the first decade of the new era, of the worldview and methodology of the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and of our mission to advance the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation through a Chinese path to modernization. We should also keep firmly in mind the important requirement of using the great transformation of our own to navigate the great social transformation and the call of the times for us to strive in unity. The entire Party and all the Chinese people need to unite as "one piece of adamantine iron" under the banner of the Party and stay committed to the same goal in mind and action to steer the giant ship of our great rejuvenation, braving winds and waves, toward its destination.
Five delegates of the Guangxi delegation -- Liu Ning, Lan Tianli, Zhou Jiabin, Zhu Xuelan and Zheng Zhiming -- gave their opinions on the report to the congress based on reality and their own experiences. They gave speeches respectively on issues of striving to follow the Chinese path to modernization in Guangxi, fostering a strong sense of community for the Chinese nation, preserving the landmark natural landscape in Guilin, developing agricultural industries with local characteristics, and deepening efforts in independent innovation. They all believe that the report to the 20th CPC National Congress, from a commanding height in considering both China's national rejuvenation and global changes of a magnitude not seen in a century, scientifically lays out goals, tasks, and major policies for developing the cause of the Party and the country in the next five years or even longer period to come, putting forward a series of new approaches, strategies and measures. It will serve as a guiding document for us to build China into a modern socialist country in all respects and realize the second centenary goal. They expressed unanimous support for the report.
In a lively atmosphere, Xi exchanged views with delegates. Having listened attentively to them, Xi said that he was happy to join the discussion as a delegate of the Guangxi delegation. He extended his sincere greetings to all delegates present and over 2.5 million Party members as well as 57 million officials and residents of different ethnic groups in the region.
Xi noted, since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Regional Committee of the CPC and regional government have implemented the CPC Central Committee's decisions and plans, and united and led the people of all ethnic groups in the region in promoting the Five-Sphere Integrated Plan and the Four-Pronged Comprehensive Strategy in a coordinated manner. Facing the grave challenges of global changes of a magnitude not seen in a century and the once-in-a-century COVID-19 pandemic, the regional Party committee and government have led the region in winning the critical battle against poverty, building a moderately prosperous society in all respects together with the rest of the nation, and bringing the comprehensive strength of the region to new heights. As a result, reform and opening up in the region has been deepened comprehensively, ecological system improved continuously, people's living standards raised considerably, and both urban and rural areas have taken on a new look. Great changes have taken place in Guangxi, which can find expression in deepened strict Party governance, solid ethnic unity, sound social stability and border security. These achievements represent successful practices of the Party's ethnic policies and the system of regional ethnic autonomy in the southern border region, vividly reflecting the great transformation over the past 10 years of the new era in our country.
The past five years and the first decade of the new era have been truly momentous and extraordinary in the development of the Party and the country, stressed Xi. As a Chinese saying goes: "One can't tell how hard it is to get things done unless he is fully engaged; a success may look easy but it takes painstaking efforts." In the past 10 years, by overcoming various hardships as if wading across treacherous waters, climbing over steep slopes and breaking through tough barriers, we have made a series of breakthroughs and milestone achievements in the cause of the Party and the country. Practices have proved that the CPC Central Committee's major principles and policies since the Party's 18th National Congress are absolutely correct, and the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics is a right way leading to sound and steady progress. It conforms to the realities of China, reflects the will of the Chinese people, and meets the requirements of the times. We must gain confidence and initiative from history, and present an "excellent answer sheet" to the people and the future on the new journey ahead.
Xi pointed out that in order to implement the Party's innovative theories, we need to gain a good command of their worldviews and methodology as well as make good use of their stances, viewpoints, and methods. The report to the 20th CPC National Congress stressed that we should always put the people first, maintain self-confidence and stand on our own feet, and constantly uphold fundamental principles and break new ground. We should also adhere to a problem-oriented approach, apply systems thinking, and maintain a global vision. Only through conscientious study and implementation of the above six points can we obtain a deep understanding of the reason, rationale, and philosophy governing these innovative theories. We should not only know their meaning, but also grasp their essence and carry them out in the whole process of the Party and the country's work on all fronts, noted Xi.
Xi stressed, in the new era, the Party has developed a deeper understanding, more mature strategies and richer practices for building a modern socialist country, and thus successfully advanced and expanded the Chinese path to modernization. The report to the 20th CPC National Congress elaborated on the characteristics and essential requirements of the Chinese path to modernization, Xi said. Taking deep root in China, the Chinese path to modernization is in line with our national conditions. We must always pursue the development of the country and the nation by relying on ourselves, take our country's destiny of development and progress firmly in our own hands, strengthen our confidence, uphold fundamental principles and break new ground so as to write a new chapter of building China into a modern socialist country in all respects.
Xi pointed out, since the 18th CPC National Congress, the CPC Central Committee has maintained its resolve and exercised full and rigorous self-governance in the spirit of "spending 10 years grinding a sword." Driven by a strong sense of mission, we have resolved to "offend a few thousand rather than fail 1.4 billion" and waged an unprecedented battle against corruption, thus forging a synergy in the Party's self-reform, said Xi. Exercising full and rigorous self-governance is a journey to which there is no end; the Party's self-reform is a ceaseless pursuit. We must persist in carrying out self-reform of the Party so as to ensure that it will never change its nature, its conviction, or its character and that the Party is always the firm core leadership guiding the cause of Chinese socialism.
Xi stressed, only in unity and through strenuous effort can we succeed. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, our Party has firmly relied on the people to stabilize the economy and boost development, fight against absolute poverty and build a moderately prosperous society, contain COVID-19 and resist other major disasters, as well as tackle challenges and defuse crises. We have overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles and created impressive miracles one after another. The most important task at hand is to roll up our sleeves and work hard to put into action the major decisions and arrangements made at the 20th CPC National Congress and produce tangible results.
Xi hoped, under the guidance of the spirit of the 20th CPC National Congress, Party committees and governments at all levels in Guangxi will unite and lead officials and the people of all ethnic groups to fully and faithfully apply the new development philosophy on all fronts, resolutely implement the decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee, and do a better job in promoting high-quality development of the border ethnic area. They should make greater breakthroughs in serving and integrating into the new development pattern, achieve greater progress in pursuing green development, contribute more to safeguarding national security, bring about more results in exercising full and rigorous self-governance of the Party, and strive to open up new prospects for building a magnificent Guangxi in the new era.
Major takeaways from Xi Jinping's report to 20th CPC National Congress
BEIJING, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- The following are major takeaways from Xi Jinping's report to the ongoing 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
-- Our Party has dedicated itself to achieving lasting greatness for the Chinese nation and committed itself to the noble cause of peace and development for humanity. Our responsibility is unmatched in importance, and our mission is glorious beyond compare. It is imperative that all of us in the Party never forget our original aspiration and founding mission, that we always stay modest, prudent, and hard-working, and that we have the courage and ability to carry on our fight. We must remain confident in our history, exhibit greater historical initiative, and write an even more magnificent chapter for socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.
-- Through painstaking efforts, the Party has found a second answer to the question of how to escape the historical cycle of rise and fall. The answer is self-reform. We have ensured that the Party will never change its nature, its conviction, or its character.
-- The great achievements of the new era have come from the collective dedication and hard work of our Party and our people.
-- The great transformation over the past 10 years of the new era marks a milestone in the history of the Party, of the People's Republic of China, of reform and opening up, of the development of socialism, and of the development of the Chinese nation.
-- At the fundamental level, we owe the success of our Party and socialism with Chinese characteristics to the fact that Marxism works, particularly when it is adapted to the Chinese context and the needs of our times.
-- There has never been an instruction manual or ready-made solution for the Chinese people and the Chinese nation to turn to as they fought to end the great sufferings endured since the advent of modern times and have moved on toward the bright future of rejuvenation. The Party has led the people in independently blazing the path to success over the past century, and the success of Marxism in China has been realized by Chinese Communists through our own endeavors. One point underpinning these successes is that China's issues must be dealt with by Chinese people in light of the Chinese context.
-- We must keep to our path and not sway in our commitment. We must not return to the isolation and rigidity of the past, or veer off course by changing our nature or abandoning our system. We must develop our country and our nation with our own strength, and we must maintain a firm grasp on the future of China's development and progress.
-- We must foster a firmer sense of purpose, fortitude, and self-belief in the whole Party and the Chinese people so that we cannot be swayed by fallacies, deterred by intimidation, or cowed by pressure. We must meet obstacles and difficulties head on, ensure both development and security, and dig deep to surmount the difficulties and challenges on the road ahead. Let us harness our indomitable fighting spirit to open up new horizons for our cause.
-- We will continue to strive for peaceful reunification with the greatest sincerity and the utmost effort, but we will never promise to renounce the use of force, and we reserve the option of taking all measures necessary.
The wheels of history are rolling on toward China's reunification and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Complete reunification of our country must be realized, and it can, without doubt, be realized!
-- Corruption is a cancer to the vitality and ability of the Party, and fighting corruption is the most thorough kind of self-reform there is. As long as the breeding grounds and conditions for corruption still exist, we must keep sounding the bugle and never rest, not even for a minute, in our fight against corruption.
-- The times are calling us, and the people expect us to deliver. Only by pressing ahead with unwavering commitment and perseverance will we be able to answer the call of our times and meet the expectations of our people. All of us in the Party must remember: Upholding the Party's overall leadership is the path we must take to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics; building socialism with Chinese characteristics is the path we must take to realize the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation; striving in unity is the path the Chinese people must take to create great historic achievements; implementing the new development philosophy is the path China must take to grow stronger in the new era; and exercising full and rigorous self-governance is the path the Party must take to maintain its vigor and pass new tests on the road ahead.
-- The Party has made spectacular achievements through its great endeavors over the past century, and our new endeavors will surely lead to more spectacular achievements.
GLOBALink | High-tech at 2022 World New Energy Vehicle Congress
BEIJING, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- High-tech such as hydrogen fuel cells and automotive chips has caught visitors' attention at the 2022 World New Energy Vehicle Congress, which ended Sunday in Beijing. #GLOBALink
Produced by Xinhua Global Service