Rebellious Chinese village makes history; elects new leaders

Written by: Pti
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Beijing, Mar 3: An otherwise sleepy Chinese village today made history by voting in a new independent leadership for the local council after overthrowing the old one through a non-violent agitation.

Wukan village, which dominated the global headlines recently for revolting and driving out the previous leadership, elected a new village committee today, several months after staging massive protests over illegal land sales and other issues. For days together, thousands of people from the village did not permit any official to enter, undeterred by heavy presence of police.

The only outsiders allowed in were some of the western journalists.

The government subsequently bought peace after accepting many of their demands including restoration of their seized lands. The Wukan revolt prompted Premier Wen Jiabao to state that time has come for China to boldly push forward opening-up and reform without which it would hit a "dead end".

"Opening-up and reform should be implemented unswervingly, or there will only be a dead end," Wen had said last month addressing a meeting in the same province. Twenty two candidates delivered public speeches to woo voters before the polling.

The villagers cast their ballots at a voting centre set up on a village school campus, state media reported. "I hope the winners will be brave people of integrity who will dare to take responsibility and won't let us down," a villager Chen Xidong was quoted by state-run Xinhua news agency. The village committee includes a chief, two deputy chiefs and four committee members.


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