No cheating occurred at Miss Ethnic Vietnam contest: official

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Miss Ethnic Vietnam 2013 Nguyen Thi Ngoc Anh

Vietnam's authorities on July 5 reasserted that results of the 2013 Miss Ethnic Vietnam contest were not rigged, as had been alleged, news website VnExpress reported.

In a report to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Department of Performing Arts said that "the contest's judges worked earnestly, objectively and no deals were struck during the judging process" of the event, which took place in the central province of Quang Nam late last month.

Nguyen Dang Chuong, head of the Departments of Performing Arts, said the rumors concerning contest winner Nguyen Thi Ngoc Anh, 20, "were completely made-up."

A few days after the contest's finale, unidentified sources claimed that Anh, who hails from the northern province of Thanh Hoa, had purchased her victory for VND1.5 billion (US$70,654); and that she was personally connected to the 15-year-old son of Doan Thi Kim Hong, deputy head of the Miss Ethnic Vietnam management board.

The department asked Quang Nam authorities to investigate and strictly deal with those who started the rumors, which "seriously slandered specific people and organizations."

The contest's organizers the provincial People Committee and CIAT Advertising and Trade Fair JSC said they were absolutely assured as to the event's transparency.

"Whoever accused us without proof must be held responsible before the law and pay honor compensation to Ngoc Anh and the organizers," a July 3 report on news website Vietnamplus quoted Hong as saying.

In her report presented to contest organizers, Vu Tran Trieu Thu, 23, who won the "Miss Photography" title, said that "she had been asked by some unknown persons to spread negative rumors about the contest," which she refused to do.

Thu said the contest was totally fair and no cheating took place.

Nguyen Thi Loan, the second runner-up said she thought the organizers did a good job and that she had no complaints.

The third Miss Ethnic Vietnam contest included the participation of 62 young women of 20 ethnic groups from 39 city and provinces throughout Vietnam.

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