48 independent National Assembly candidates approved

By Lam Le   March 18, 2016 | 04:53 pm GMT+7
All 87 candidates seeking election to the 14th National Assembly (NA), including 48 self-nominees, were approved at a meeting in Hanoi yesterday.

On March 17, the Hanoi Fatherland Front Committee held a second consultation round to decide a preliminary list of National Assembly candidates.

Committee Vice Chairman Dao Van Binh said the preliminary ballot was the result of a democratic process that allowed individuals to nominate themselves for a seat. He said the next step was to do a background check on the candidates.

Among the 39 candidates nominated by government agencies, there are many directors of state-owned companies and administrative agencies, as well as senior officials like Hanoi Communist Party Secretary Hoang Trung Hai, People’s Council Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc and Deputy Director of Public Security Dao Thanh Hai.

Self-nominated candidates include persons known for their contributions to the country like journalist Tran Dang Tuan and Vietnam Intellectual Cooperation Center Director Nguyen Canh Binh, but there are also seven nominees with no specific occupation.

100% of Hanoi Fatherland Front committee members vote to approve the preliminary ballot. Photo by Viet Linh.

Hanoi Fatherland Front committee members vote to approve the preliminary ballot. Photo: Viet Linh.

Many committee members welcomed the increase in the number of self-nominated candidates, calling it a step forward for democracy. However, they also stressed the importance of background checks.

Hanoi Transport Association chairman Bui Danh Lien said that running for the National Assembly was a civil right and no one should be excluded from the list except if they had broken the law.

However, Lien also noted that self-nominated candidates had to be carefully vetted for any shortcomings not reflected in their application.

Hanoi Peace Committee Chairwoman Dao Thanh Huong said many such candidates were well qualified and devoted to their country. However, she added, some “seem to be doing it just for fun”.

Former Deputy Standing Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Dinh Hanh noted that some candidates did not possess the appropriate qualities and capabilities.

“Our responsibility is to select candidates that meet the public and the country’s expectations,” Hanh said.

According to Hanh, in previous elections, many candidates who appeared very promising on paper were disqualified after disquieting details emerged during background checks.

Vietnam Fatherland Front Vice Chairman Dao Van Binh said the proposal to reduce the number of centrally nominated candidates has not been accepted by the National Assembly Standing Committee. Photo by Vo Hai

Vietnam Fatherland Front Vice Chairman Dao Van Binh said the proposal to reduce the number of centrally nominated candidates had not been accepted by the National Assembly Standing Committee. Photo: Vo Hai

Vice Chairman Binh also informed the committee that Hanoi’s proposal to increase the ratio of independent candidates to centrally nominated ones had been rejected by the National Assembly Standing Committee. The break-down will remain 16 independent and 14 centrally nominated candidates.

On March 15, Hanoi reported to the National Election Council monitoring body that they received 47 applications from independent candidates out of 87 in total. The final number reflects a last minute addition before the second consultation round.

 
 
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