Over 97 percent of voters across the country cast their votes in the elections to national and local legislative bodies on Sunday, according to the National Assembly’s office.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had previously said that over 60 million citizens were eligible to vote for their choice of representatives to the National Assembly and members of People’s Councils.
Many voters expressed hope that their votes will help choose “the most qualified” candidates who would work as their representatives in public interest.
Pham Thi Hong, 103, of Hanoi’s Ba Dinh District said: “I want to tell successful candidates to never forget that people select them to work for them.” The senior citizen was one of the earliest voters in her neighborhood, despite her age and the fact that she has to move on a wheel chair.
Many old people expressed similar sentiments.
Nguyen Thi Lien of Hoan Kiem District said her 110-year-old father, Nguyen Van Quynh, has cast votes in all 13 elections to the National Assembly. This time, his health forced him to stay at home and wait for the local election office members to bring a ballot box to their house.
“He always tells us [children and grandchildren] to fulfill our citizen right […] choosing people who are righteous and talented and those who dare to act for the sake of the country and people,” Lien said.
Young citizens casting their votes for the first time also had high expectations of their future representatives.
An 18-year-old student named Thuy in Tu Liem District said while she was nervous about her first vote, she has studied candidates’ biographies and selected those with backgrounds in economics, environment and traffic infrastructure.
Vietnam needs plans to develop its economy while protecting the environment, she said.
High-ranking officials echoed the public's concerns.
After voting in Hanoi’s Nguyen Du Ward, where he lives, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Nguyen Phu Trong, said: “I hope people will choose 500 most qualified representatives to the National Assembly and representatives to the People’s Councils.
“I believe the National Assembly, as an agency representing people, will listen to the opinions of voters and people to fulfill its missions well.”
Meanwhile, President Nguyen Minh Triet, who cast his votes in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, said he felt “proud and excited to fulfill his right and obligation,” just like other voters.
“Before casting my votes, I gave thought to candidates to choose people who have prestige, talent and righteousness to develop the locality, contributing to the country’s development,” Triet said.
Truong Tan Sang, permanent member of the Party Central Committee Secretariat, said: “I believe that young candidates who are elected will conduct their duties well to deserve voters’ trust.”
Vietnamese citizens will elect 500 representatives to the National Assembly, 3,200 members of People’s Councils in cities and provinces, and over 300,000 members of People’s Councils in districts and communes.
The results of the elections would be announced on this Sunday at latest.
Elections to the National Assembly and the People’s Council take place once every five years, but they are usually scheduled two years apart. This is the first time that they are being held at the same time.