BEIJING, March 8 (Xinhua) -- China will give more seats in its national legislature to workers, farmers, professionals and women, said a draft decision submitted to lawmakers for review on Wednesday.
According to the draft decision on the quota and election of deputies to the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), the election of deputies shall be completed in January 2018.
The total number of the NPC deputies shall be kept no more than 3,000, it said.
Overall, there shall be an increase in the proportion of women deputies and deputies elected from grassroots level -- workers, farmers and professionals -- compared with the current 12th NPC.
The number of deputies representing migrant workers shall also be increased, while the proportion of deputies representing Party and government officials shall be reduced, the draft decision said.
Earlier reports said of the nearly 3,000 deputies to the 12th NPC, about 14 percent are workers and farmers, up more than 5 percentage points from the 11th NPC. The number of professionals also rose by more than 1 percentage point.
Party and government officials account for about 35 percent of the 12th NPC deputies, down nearly 7 percentage points.
Explaining the draft decision to lawmakers at the fifth annual session of the 12th NPC on Wednesday, Wang Chen, vice chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, warned against frauds in the upcoming NPC election and called for a democratic and law-based election under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
Wang called to attention a string of electoral fraud cases found in the past years.
In one of the most notorious cases, 45 NPC deputies from northeast China's Liaoning Province were disqualified in 2016 for vote buying and bribery during elections three years earlier.
Another major case in 2013 in Hengyang city of Hunan Province saw 56 provincial legislators offering 110 million yuan in bribes to 518 municipal lawmakers and another 68 members of staff. Nearly 500 people in southwest China's Sichuan Province were imprisoned or given administrative penalties in 2015 for fraud in 2011 elections.
Wang said since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the CPC Central Committee with General Secretary Xi Jinping as the core has put forward a whole new set of ideas, propositions and requirements on the development of socialist democracy and the system of people's congresses, pointing the way forward for the NPC election.
In particular, he said, the investigation and punishment of those involved in the above three cases showcased the CPC Central Committee's commitment and resolve to comprehensively advance rule of law and strict Party governance, and should serve as an important warning for all.
He called on authorities to align their thoughts and deeds with the speeches made by Xi and to the requirements of the CPC Central Committee, uphold the CPC's leadership, practise democracy, and abide by relevant laws and disciplines.