Conflicting news in China on Bo Xilai’s destiny

Bo Xilai

According to SCMP‘s report by Shi Jiangtao from Beijing today, entitled Next step this week in Bo’s fall from grace, “NPC Standing Committee may vote to remove fallen Chongqing party chief from legislature, a precursor to his expulsion from the party.

“Disgraced former Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai is expected to be stripped of his membership of the legislature this week, as Beijing scrambles to put an end to the country’s worst political scandal in decades ahead of a once-in-a-decade leadership reshuffle.

“A decision on Bo, a Politburo member, will likely be put to a vote at the end of a five-day session of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee that began yesterday and is held every two months, say analysts.”

On the contrary, Singtao Daily says today in its report entitled “Bo Xilai Expected to Remain an NPC Deputy for the Time Being”: “As the 28th session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, scheduled from yesterday to Friday, has an item on its agenda to ‘review the NPC membership of individual deputies,’ people on the outside speculate that the former Chongqing Party boss, who is now under investigation, may be deprived of his NPC membership.

However, upon the paper’s enquiry yesterday, a Chongqing People’s Congress official said that for the time being no meeting of Chongqing Municipality’s people’s congress standing committee will be held and no relevant instruction has been received from the central authority.

“Bo Xilai is an NPC deputy ‘elected’ by Chongqing; therefore, the procedure of his removal shall begin from the standing committee of Chongqing Municipal People’s Congress. This paper called Chongqing People’s Congress yesterday and learnt from an official who did not disclose his name, that according to the arrangement, the next meeting of the standing committee of the municipality’s people’s congress (its 36th meeting) is scheduled at the end of September.

“The official said that if the meeting is to be held earlier, or an additional meeting is to be held, a meeting of the chairmen of the committee shall be held to make a decision on that. However, as no meeting of the chairmen has so far been held, it can in the main be certain that there would not be an additional meeting.”

Due to lack of transparency, media have to rely on speculation so that we should expect that they are unable to provide accurate information. However, Singtao’s report this time may be better, as it has contacted Chongqing people’s congress.

In addition, Singtao says: “Boxun.com reports that last week, Luo Lin, former director of the State Administration of Work Safety who is close to Bo Xilai, was placed under “Shuanggui” investigation (i.e. being required to give explanation on issues involved in his case at designated time and place where ‘at designated time and place’ often means under house arrest).

“According to the report, when Luo Lin was the director, he concealed for Chongqing and Liaoning when Bo was in charge there, quite a few accidents due to negligence such as serious coal production accidents and maritime distresses with death toll exceeding 10 each.”



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