Bracing for next year's top leadership changes, the ruling Communist Party of China, is holding elections within its local party units to galvanise the 80 million member strong political organisation.
Candidates seeking positions within local Party committees who are found to have attempted to lobby or bribe voters will invite severe punishment, Zhang Jinan, deputy chief of the Organisation Department of the CPC Central Committee was quoted by official media in Beijing [ Images ] on Tuesday.
People could be in line for a variety of disciplinary chastisements including demotion, forced resignation or dismissal and criminal prosecution, if indulged in malpractices, he said.
From this year to the middle of next year, party leaderships at the provincial, city, county and township levels will be reshuffled with a succession of nominations and elections. Reshuffles in local governments, people's congresses and political advisory bodies are also under way.
The party is 80 million strong political organisation.
The process was expected to be culminated by December next year when CPC, celebrating 90th anniversary this year will hold its leadership meet during which President Hu Jintao, who is also the General Secretary of CPC expected to relinquish power along with Premier Wen Jiabao after completion of two terms in office.
A new leadership headed by Vice President, Xi Jinping, who was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by the Time magazine in 2009 was expected take charge in a smooth transition.
Founded in 1921, by Mao Zedong, who later emerged as a cult figure heading the most violent revolutionary movement followed by mass purges during Cultural Revolution cleansing the society of liberals, specially educated, the party witnessed a sea change when more liberal Deng Xiaoping took over the reins of the party in 1978.
Since then, the CPC brought about a vast variety of changes introducing mostly economic reforms that brought billions of dollars for foreign investment followed by introduction of concept private property, which was virtually abolished by Mao.
The party, however, remained in full control of the government under a new line propounded by the party, "socialism with Chinese characteristics" posting impressive growth rates, emerging as the second largest economy in the world, next only to US.