More National Assembly seats proposed for non-party members

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More non-party members should become National Assembly delegates while the number of parliamentarians from executive and judicial agencies should be reduced, the Vietnam Fatherland Front said at a meeting held to discuss elections to be held in May.


The VFF is an umbrella group of all public organizations in Vietnam. It is responsible  for whetting and approving candidates for the National Assembly elections.

The rate of people with no party membership in the legislative body should be at least 20 percent, instead of the 10 percent proposed by the National Assembly's standing committee, VFF officials said at the Wednesday meeting.


National Assembly elections held on May 22 will elect 500 candidates who will be in office for five years.


Nguyen Tuc, deputy head of the front's consultancy council on social affairs said the higher rate would create a more "democratic atmosphere."


Agreeing with Tuc, Do Duy Thuong, former vice chairman of the Father Front's Central Committee, said the restricted rate of non-party members has partly discouraged people with competence from nominating themselves.


Luu Van Dat, head of the consultancy council on democracy and laws, also said it would  be  good  to increase the rate of non-members. With members accounting for 60 percent of the National Assembly's seats, the party's leadership is already guaranteed, he said.


Vo Quoc Thang, chairman of Vietnam Association of Young Businesses, meanwhile, said was not necessary to regulate the rate of non-party members in the National Assembly.


As long as people are competent, they should be selected, he added.


Members of the Father Front also suggested decreasing the number of seats in the National Assembly held by people from the government.


Under the proposal of the National Assembly's Standing Committee, the government will hold 20 seats, while authorities of provinces are given nine.


Tuc said it was important to reduce the executive numbers in parliament in order to prevent the practice of the government judging its own performance.


Thuong also said only the prime minister, deputy prime ministers, and some ministers should attend the National Assembly sessions, because cabinet ministers are in fact too busy to attend meetings that last for months.


Meanwhile, Dat said the number of seats held by people from judicial agencies in provinces should also be cut because only those from central judicial agencies are needed for the work.


It is also not essential that chairpersons of the People's Committees in provinces hold seats in the National Assembly; they should deal with affairs in their localities, he added.


"It's necessary to decrease the involvement of executive agencies in the National Assembly so it can operate professionally and hold meetings more frequently, instead of the very long meetings that are held once every two years at present," Dat said.


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