12:00 AM, November 17, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 17, 2012

China held straw poll to select leaders

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Reuters, Beijing

China's ruling Communist Party has lifted the lid on the opaque backroom selection of the country's top leaders, revealing that it had held a straw poll for the first time in May to decide on the membership of its top decision-making body.
The party, which has held power since 1949, has flirted with what it calls intra-party democracy as it strives to maintain its legitimacy in the face of widespread corruption, growing social unrest and rising inequality, even as the world's second biggest economy bounds ahead.
The party held a meeting of leading cadres in Beijing in May and "democratically recommended" members of the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee and the 25-seat Politburo, state news agency Xinhua said late on Thursday.
Such a poll hardly signals a desire for democratic political reforms, but it suggests that the party is trying to increase accountability and subjecting its members to more checks and balances.

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