The Constitution of Vietnam recognises the National Assembly (NA) as “the highest organ of state power.” The NA, a 500-deputy unicameral body elected to a five-year term, meets twice a year. The NA appoints the president, the prime minister, the chief justice of the Supreme People’s Court of Vietnam, the head of the Supreme People’s Procuracy of Vietnam, and the 21-member government.
Constitutionally, the NA is the highest-level representative body of the people. It has the power to draw up, adopt, and amend the constitution and to make and amend laws. It also has the responsibility to legislate and implement state plans and budgets. Through its constitution-making powers, it defines its own role and the roles of the Vietnamese state president, the prime minister, the government, the local people’s councils and people’s committees, the Supreme People’s Court, and the Supreme People’s Procuracy.
The NA can elect and remove government ministers, the chief justice of the Supreme People’s Court, and the procurator general of the Supreme People’s Procuracy. Finally, it has the power to initiate or conclude wars and to assume other duties and powers it deems necessary.
Source: Law on Organisation of the National Assembly
Over the past few weeks, many localities nationwide have been decorated with flags, posters, and banners to welcome the upcoming election of the 15th National Assembly (NA) and all-level people’s councils for the 2021-2026 tenure.
Nguyen Thi Mui, chairwoman of the National Fatherland Front Committee of Trung 1 Sub-quarter in Xuan Dinh ward in Hanoi’s Bac Tu Liem district, is among some cadres in her locality who have been, since late March, on duty at the communal house where long lists of information for local voters and candidates running for the NA and peoples’ councils are posted.
“We are on duty on rotation,” Mui told VIR. “Voters can visit the house to check whether their personal information is correct or not. They can also study the lists of candidates running for the NA and people’s councils before voting. We will also have to visit their homes to deliver voting cards.”
Cadres like Mui number tens of thousands in Hanoi and millions across Vietnam who will on May 23 vote for candidates for the elections which were said to be of great significance by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong at an online meeting on May 8 with over 2,400 Hanoian constituents.
“The elections offer an opportunity for people to exercise their right to vote for virtuous and talented deputies who represent the people’s will and aspirations to the NA and all-level people’s councils, thus contributing to building, consolidating, and completing the rules-based socialist state of the people, by the people, and for the people, under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam.”
Nguyen Thi Ngoc Diem from Hanoi’s Hai Ba Trung district, on behalf of the attendants at the meeting, spoke to the Party chief that constituents are pinning high hopes on the NA’s strong measures to effectively implement goals for national development over the next five years and beyond stated in the resolution of the recent 13th National Party Congress. The new NA is also expected to pay more attention to protection of national sovereignty, control of power, and fighting against corruption and COVID-19.
“We Vietnamese people are expecting to see a more prosperous nation with all people living happy lives. We hope to see a good new NA with righteous and talented members,” Diem said.
On May 9, NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue met with constituents in Vinh Bao and An Lao districts of the northern port city of Haiphong. He committed that he and the NA Standing Committee will continue renewing and improving the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of the legislature’s operation, while promoting its democracy, creativity, and transparency in order to ensure that the NA is really the highest representative organ of the public which will have to ameliorate the quality and effectiveness of laws and regulations, as well as of the decision on national vital issues, including macroeconomic issues.
“The new NA will contribute to making the economy bigger, in service of people and enterprises. We are doing a good job in economic development,” Chairman Hue said.
Vietnam surprised the world with its impressive control of COVID-19 and its inspiring economic growth rate of 2.91 per cent in 2020, and an average annual 6.8 per cent in the 2016-2019 period, making the country one of the world’s top 10 nations with the highest growth, and also one of the 16 most successful emerging economies in the globe in 2020. Last year, the economy’s GDP was estimated to be about VND6.3 quadrillion ($273.9 billion), up by VND263 trillion ($11.43 billion) against 2019, ranking fourth in Southeast Asia, with total export-import turnover of $543.9 billion and a record trade surplus of $19.1 billion, notably amid a strong decline in global trade.
The World Bank is expecting Vietnam’s economy will continue to flourish in 2021.
“By all standards, Vietnam has managed the crisis very well. Looking ahead, Vietnam’s prospects appear positive as the economy is projected to grow by about 6.8 per cent in 2021 and, thereafter, stabilise at around 6.5 per cent. This projection assumes that the COVID-19 crisis will be brought gradually under control, notably through the introduction of an effective vaccine,” said the World Bank in its recent economic update for Vietnam.
Under the resolution of the 13th National Party Congress, the Party has specified goals for Vietnam. Concretely, the nation will become a developing country with modernity-oriented industrial development by 2025; a developing nation by 2030 with modern industrial development and upper-middle income; and a developed economy with high income by 2045.
Vuong Dinh Hue - Chairman, National Assembly
To absolutely ensure security and safety of the election day for the 15th National Assembly and all-level people’s councils for 2021-2026, it is necessary to fully understand the significance and importance of the task of ensuring security and safety in all security forces and other stakeholders.
In addition, the Ministry of Public Security is required to combine closely with units of the National Election Council, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Health, the Party committees and people’s committees of cities and provinces, and all-level election committees to thoroughly review all tasks on ensuring security and safety, and successfully serving the election day.
They also have to provide consultancy on perfecting schemes and plans on election protection, while having to stand ready to solve complicated situations that may happen at election sites, especially in locations hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is more, they also have to exercise the tasks of forecasting and timely and effectively addressing issues about security and order in all areas. All conspiracies and anti-election activities from reactionaries, political opportunists, and hostile forces have to be prevented.
Besides this, we must timely push up repressions against all types of crimes, especially criminal damage, drug trafficking, and cybercrime, and turn away misunderstanding and distorted information on the internet.
According to the Politburo’s conclusion on the directions for the NA elections, deputies to the NA and people’s councils at all levels must be loyal to the nation, the people, and the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and make all-out efforts to broadly promote the doi moi process, allowing Vietnam to advance towards becoming an equitable, democratic, and civilised society.
The Party Central Committee’s Organisation Commission has issued guidance on personnel work for the upcoming elections, providing detailed stipulations on standards for full-time deputies. Nominees for full-time NA deputies must have been included in existing personnel planning for the positions of full-time NA deputies or deputy minister or equivalent. Meanwhile, at the local level, they must have been included in existing personnel planning for the position of director of a department or equivalent.
There are several new features in the upcoming elections, including a regulation requiring that a candidate must win the confidence of over 50 per cent of voters in his or her residential area. Ngo Sach Thuc, Vice President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front’s Central Committee, said that voter confidence is an important measurement of eligibility during the selection of candidates.
The National Election Council has announced the official list of 868 candidates who will run for 500 seats in the NA at both central and local levels. Of the candidates, the number of NA deputies at the central level will be 203, and 665 come from the local level. Of the total figure at central level, 11 are from Party agencies, five from the State President Office and judicial agencies, 129 from NA agencies, and 15 from the government or government agencies. The number of ethnic minority deputies is 163, while those who are not Party members number 70.
For voter Mui from Xuan Dinh, she told VIR that the leadership of her locality is mobilising local residents to make thorough preparations for the elections. “We hope that candidates who are voted to the NA or people’s councils at all levels will be outstanding ones, truly representing the people’s ownership so that the upcoming May 23 election date will really be a big festival for the entire population,” she said.
“In our locality, preparations for the upcoming election have been actively carried out including the establishment of electoral bodies, the issuance of guiding documents especially personnel work, promoting communication activities about the election, settlement of complaints and denunciations related to the elections as well as ensuring security, order and safety for the election,” Mui added.