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‘Non-confidence’ should be added to confidence vote in Vietnam: lawmakers

Many Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) deputies have pressed for an NA confidence vote in which voters can say they do not trust a particular top official, instead of an all-confidence ballot as at present.

Many Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) deputies have pressed for an NA confidence vote in which voters can say they do not trust a particular top official, instead of an all-confidence ballot as at present.
Many Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) deputies have pressed for an NA confidence vote in which voters can say they do not trust a particular top official, instead of an all-confidence ballot as at present.

The NA deputies voiced their proposition at a session on Thursday organized to discuss proposed amendments to the law-making body’s resolution on confidence votes.

According to their suggestion, only two levels – “confidence” and “non-confidence” – should be applied in confidence votes, instead of three levels – “high confidence,” “confidence,” and “low confidence” – as stipulated in the resolution and was used in a confidence vote on November 15.

The confidence vote was held for 50 top officials who had been elected or appointed by the NA.

Four hundred and eighty-five out of 497 NA deputies were present and cast their vote on Saturday last week. A total of 485 ballots were issued and the same number of votes was collected, but some of which were invalid.

Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Vice Chairperson of the National Assembly, got the highest number of “high confidence” votes –390.

She was followed by State President Truong Tan Sang and the chairperson of the NA Committee of Social Affairs, Truong Thi Mai, who received 380 and 365 of “high confidence” votes, respectively.

The number of “high confidence” ballots for NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung stood at 340, while Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung received 320 “high confidence” votes.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien received the most “low confidence” votes – 192.

During yesterday’s meeting, ten deputies expressed their opinions about confidence votes and only two of them requested that the current three levels of confidence be maintained.

These two deputies are Pham Truong Dan from the central province of Quang Nam and Danh Ut from the southern province of Kien Giang.

Dan and Ut also said the current rule in which the confidence vote is conducted only once each term should be maintained.

Meanwhile, the other eight deputies shared the same view that only two levels – “confidence” and “non-confidence” – should be used in confidence votes for top officials.

Three of the eight deputies are from Hanoi – including Chu Son Ha, head of the NA delegation of the capital city, Trinh The Khiet, chairman of the Vietnam Farmers Association, and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bui Thi An.

“I personally concur with a large number of voters that there should be two levels only,” said Vo Thi Dung, a deputy who chairs the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of Ho Chi Minh City.

All these eight deputies said that confidence votes with only two such levels would help appraise each official more clearly and practically.

“If the current three confidence levels are maintained, I think we do need to carry out any confidence vote, as all officials subject to the vote are considered to already win confidence from the voters,” Le Thi Nga, deputy chairwoman of the NA Justice Committee, said.

Nga pointed out that the absence of “non-confidence” is imperceptibly restricting the voting rights of deputies, for there may be circumstances in which one or more officials are not trusted by one or more deputies.

She also proposed that the confidence vote should be conducted twice every term so that top officials’ performance can be assessed more timely.

Three deputies An, Ha, and Khiet agreed with Nga’s perspective, saying that “a lot of people in the public are of the same opinion.”