NA deputies raise questions on President's role in anti-corruption

By Hoang Thuy   March 29, 2016 | 09:05 pm GMT+7

Legislators raise questions on the role of the President in anti-corruption and his de facto power during ongoing National Assembly session.

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National Assembly deputy Nguyen Bac Son.

The National Assembly deputies, in accessment of the President's work report in 2011-2016 period, have raised questions on the roles and activities of the President position.

“President, Vice President have always publicly expressed their resentment towards corruption but people wonder where the President and Vice President stand and what power do they have in a fight against corruption? What is President allowed to do and what can he do?”, deputy Nguyen Bac Son said during the meeting session of the National Assembly (NA) on March 29.

Deputy Son, representative from Nam Dinh Province, said the current President has been working at his best. However, he believed that the unspecific provisions in the constitutions, despite having been cleared up before, have made it more difficult for the President to execute his rights and have led to the restrictions to the post's power. 

He claimed that the relations between the President and the government in developing the state and improving the life of people as well as working on important social-economic issues such as fighting corruption are among the rules that have not been stated clearly.

The President position has a function to announce the laws and ordinances passed by the National Assembly and the NA Standing Committee, Son said, but this only means finishing the last stage of a procedure while the President has a right to review these laws and ordinances.

The deputy stated that the President has not showed clear influence over domestic and foreign affairs and the power of someone who is the commander-in-chief of the army and the chairman of the National Defense and Security Council. 

In the next term, Son suggested, the President need to bring forward the draft for President regulatory law to the NA because it would not be right for a post which has authority in judicial, executive and legislative branches to not have its own regulatory institution.

This institution, according to him, should answer the questions on head of state's role in domestic and foreign affairs. It also needs to specify how many head of state Vietnam has and their respective duties and power.

Deputy Bui Van Phuong, on the other hand, expressed his concerns over the President's contribution in implementing social-economic tasks, such as the signing of international loan agreement, monitoring the use of loans, how to effectively ensure the safety of public debt and the national debt, all of which have not been clear.

Phuong mentioned the uncleared rule of the President in building up the army and making investment decisions on financial resources, equipment and technical equipment for national defense and security.

Deputy Bui Van Phuong said the guidelines for the President to perform his rights are not clearly defined and it is partly because of the incompleted legal framework.

Therefore, he suggested that the NA's deputies should focus on building the insitution for the Presidency that fully reflects the post's responsibility as a head of state and is worthy of the trust of the people.

In a report delivered to the National Assembly on March 22, President Truong Tan Sang said that some of the duties of president were outlined in the constitution but did not have specific instructions on how to execute them, including directing the armed forces as the commander-in-chief.