Vietnam “won’t let reactionary forces disrupt elections”: NA chairwoman

By An Hong, Vo Hai   May 18, 2016 | 05:14 pm GMT+7

The clock is counting down before Vietnamese people cast their ballots in national elections this Sunday. The government has been more vigilant than ever, especially following a series of protests in major cities over the recent mass fish deaths along the country’s central coast.

The Vietnamese government has shown resolute determination to prevent “reactionary forces” from disrupting the election, said National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan at a meeting held this morning.

“There are only four more days to go until the elections, so this is an extremely important moment. I ask all relevant authorities to proactively prepare for the success of the 14th National Assembly and People’s Councils elections for the 2016-2021 term so that the day will truly become a national event,” said Ngan.

“There is no way we will let reactionary groups dupe the public and disrupt the election,” she continued.

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National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan at the meeting on Wednesday. Photo by Vietnam News Agency

The National Election Council has asked security forces to coordinate and implement stricter security measures to thwart possible threats posed by “reactionary groups”.

Last Sunday, an 11-minute news report aired on Vietnam's state television warned the public to ignore calls made by “reactionary forces” to join protests over the massive fish deaths it said were being used to try to create “violent political disorder” and to “disrupt the election”.

Vietnam Fatherland Front Chairman Nguyen Thien Nhan called on people to cast their votes for “the country’s leaders for the next five years” and “for your own future”. He advised people not to renounce their voting rights just because they are outraged at the fact that the government has yet to identify the cause of the fish deaths that occurred in central coast provinces in April.

A government investigation into the fish deaths is underway but a preliminary report found no links to Formosa's $10.6 billion steel plant in the central province of Ha Tinh.

Experts said either a "red tide", when algae blooms and produces toxins, or a release of dangerous chemicals by humans, could have been to blame.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has promised a thorough investigation and to punish those responsible.

 
 
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