Mayor model is needed to give more power, responsibility to city's leader: experts

By Thu Hang   December 15, 2022 | 02:36 am PT
Mayor model is needed to give more power, responsibility to city's leader: experts
Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Office in District 1. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Experts have proposed the adoption of a mayor model in HCMC, instead of the current People’s Committee chairman, to give more power to the city’s top leader.

Under such a system, experts say, a mayor would be responsible for the provision of public services in the city, including transportation, housing, and employment.

Tran Thi Thu Ha, a lecturer at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Law, said that the mayor model emphasizes more the individual responsibility of the head of the city, whose official title now is chairman of the People’s Committee.

At present, the chairman's authority is practically overshadowed by the People's Committee.

The chairman must follow the collective decision-making process, which is time-consuming and not suitable to solving the problems that occur every day in the city, she said.

Ha said further that if HCMC adopts the mayor model, a detailed plan must be carefully built to ensure the mayor’s power is properly controlled via election and recall.

Nguyen Thanh Quyen and Huynh Thi Hong Nhien, who are also lecturers at the law university, pointed out that the mayor–council government system has been applied in many cities around the region, including Beijing and Seoul.

They said the mayors in such cities are held accountable for what they promise when running for office, suggesting that the mayor model can makes a city leader more responsible.

Nguyen Thi Thien Tri, from the law university, who focuses on administrative law, called for more power by city as a whole.

Tri said that over the past 20 years, HCMC has relied too much on orders from the central government, especially when it comes to the use of the budget.

Every time the city wants to start work on a public project, she said, it has to ask the central government to allocate funds.

HCMC is the biggest contributor to Vietnam’s state budget.

Tri said that in order for an urban center like HCMC to function properly, it leaders needs to have more authority.

The Ministry of Home Affairs in November proposed that Vietnam consider installing mayors in major cities as the current administration model is not effective.

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