National Assembly independent hopefuls seek support

By    March 26, 2016 | 08:19 am GMT+7

Independent candidates who are running for parliament without being nominated by their employers must finalise support from their colleagues by April 12 at the latest, said the chairman of Hanoi's Fatherland Front.

Before finalizing the list of nominees running in May’s National Assembly elections, Hanoi's Fatherland Front held a meeting on Thursday to advise candidates on how to win confidence votes.

The aim of the meeting was to prepare for the next stage of the vetting process that involves meetings with the candidates’ neighbors and co-workers. At this stage, candidates must have at least 50 percent of their support if they are to be nominated.

Hanoi this year has 48 independent candidates, some of whom have thrown their names into the hat without seeking nomination from their employers. They are working for either the government or private organizations.

Some are self-employed, meaning these candidates have no colleagues to secure the necessary support required.

national-assembly-independent-hopefuls-seek-support

Vu Hong Khanh, chairman of Hanoi's Fatherland Front. Photo by Doan Loan.

Vu Hong Khanh, chairman of Hanoi’s Fatherland Front, said all candidates who were nominated by their employers had submitted their applications before March 13.

“Self-nominated candidates need to seek approval from their co-workers, but candidates who are self employed don’t have to go through this process,” Khanh explained.

He also advised self-nominees to look into the results of the first round of talks where the provincial and central branches of the Vietnam Fatherland Front created a preliminary list of candidates based on their nominations to find out which groups of constituents they stand for.

“The candidates must know whom they represent, which is stipulated by law. When candidates run for office on the People’s Council or National Assembly, this means representing democracies [where elected officials] speak for a certain group of voters,” said Khanh.

All candidates, either nominated by a specific institution or self nominated, are required to submit reports on the backing they have received from neighbors and co-workers by April 12.

All of Vietnam’s National Assembly delegates are nominated through a vetting process that has five stages.

Prior to the nomination of candidates, the outgoing National Assembly Standing Committee sets a structure for the upcoming National Assembly in terms of demographics. In this year’s election, the structure includes 90 ethnic minorities, 150 women, 50 non-Party members and 50 candidates under 40 years of age. They also divide the nomination process between the central party and government institutions and provincial institutions. This year, central-level institutions are allowed to nominate 198 candidates, while at the provincial level, the number of nominated candidates is 302.

Setting the structure is the first stage. The second stage is for organizations to nominate candidates as structurally allotted. At this point, candidates are also allowed to self nominate. At the third stage, the provincial and central branches of the Fatherland Front hold meetings to draw up a preliminary list of candidates based on the nominations. The fourth stage involves meetings with the candidates’ neighbors and co-workers. At this stage, the candidate must have at least 50 percent support at each meeting. The final list of candidates approved by the local and central Fatherland Front completes the fifth stage.

 
 
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