NA election supervisors: Identify “reactionary groups” behind independent candidates

By    March 18, 2016 | 02:42 am PT
Members of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) have asked the National Election Committee to clarify information regarding self-nominated candidates in Hanoi for the upcoming National Asembly who are receiving support from so-called "foreign reactionary groups".

The VFF, which will oversee May’s National Assembly elections, held a second round of talks on Thursday in Hanoi where constituents gave their assessments of the candidates in their constituencies. At the meeting, some VFF members requested further clarification on foreign support of some independent candidates.

“It has been reported that [hostile] forces are supporting and even providing funds for some independent candidates. I think this statement is too general and needs detailed clarification. As it is, this report could harm the reputations of all self-nominated candidates,” said Major General Le Ma Luong, calling for related authorities to clarify which foreign organizations are backing independent candidates and which candidates are receiving their support.


Major General Le Ma Luong - Photo by HT

Agreeing with Major General Luong, Nguyen Tuc, a VFF member, pointed out that no matter what the government did, opposition groups will still find a way to cause problems, however, “it is up to us to prevent such actions”.

Tuc added that the increased number of independent candidates was a sign of democracy, and that more people wanted to contribute to the country. He advised the committee to be more cautious about information that could affect the self-nomination of independent candidates.

According to Colonel General Nguyen Van Rinh, central authorities are responsible for investigating, clarifying and identifying the reactionary groups that are allegedly backing some independent candidates.

“Individuals who take advantage of running for office to boost their own profiles and potentially harm the country should be removed from the ballot,” said Rinh.

Earlier this week, the security subcommittee, which is a part of the government’s supervisory board for the National Assembly elections, reported the presence of “external forces” behind some of the independent candidates in Hanoi.


Colonel General Nguyen Van Rinh - Photo by HT

In the last election five years ago, Hanoi had 40 independent candidates. This year the number of self-nominated candidates has edged up to 47.

Those who run for office as independent candidates need to register at a local branch of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, which looks after the interests of several organizations such as the Women’s Union, Farmers’ Unions and the Communist Youth Union.

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