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Security subcommittee: Some independent candidates for National Assembly receive outside support

By Vuong Duc Anh   March 17, 2016 | 05:00 pm PT
Independent candidates in Hanoi seeking election to the 14th National Assembly (NA) and local government are receiving financial support from "outside sources", a security subcommittee under the National Election Council reported.

Along with a rise in the number of self-nominated candidates for the NA this year, an inspector from the security subcommittee has notified the National Election Council of the presense of "external forces" standing behind some of the independent candidates in Hanoi.

"Some candidates have received support from outside groups both within the country and overseas, who have lobbied for their election and even bankrolled their campaigns," he said.

The inspector said that some independent candidates will be removed from the ballot following consultation rounds to be conducted by the Vietnam Fatherland Front's Central Committee.

"I'm sure that some candidates who are taken off the list will deem this undemocratic and try to encourage their supporters not to vote, or vote for 'none of the above'," he said.

Nguyen Van Phong, head of Hanoi's election propaganda committee, said that besides some cases of “self-nomination for alternative agendas", the increased number of independent candidates is a good sign because it shows the spirit of democracy, and how people want to contribute to their society and country.

"The increase in the number of independent candidates for the 14th National Assembly in the city was anticipated," Phong said.

In the last election five years ago, Hanoi had 40 independent candidates, so the 47 running this year is not a significant increase, according to Chairman of Hanoi's Election Commission Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc, adding that more and more people want to contribute to the country.

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that independent candidates running for office will promote democracy, but must conform with the law regarding their qualifications and number.

Based on a resolution issued by the NA Standing Committee, which convenes and chairs parliamentary sessions, there can be a maximum of 50 non-party members among the 500 delegates of the 14th National Assembly.

"Hanoi also has to settle all disputes that involve large crowds to ensure no unexpected situations, fires or serious crimes disrupt the elections," Phuc added.

He also reminded the city to ensure the rights of all voters, especially those who are able to vote under the new rules, such as people in detention and Vietnamese people living overseas.

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