Vietnam mulls suspending confidence votes on top leaders

By Thanh Nguyen, TN News

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Lawmakers cast their vote of confidence on 47 top leaders at a National Assembly session last June / PHOTO COURTESY OF TUOI TRE

The standing committee of the country’s legislature has proposed a halt to a resolution on annual confidence voting for revision one year after it was applied and gained public praise.

The proposal of the National Assembly’s committee will be submitted and voted on at the assembly’s upcoming session in May.

At a meeting on Friday, Nguyen Thi Nuong, chief of the committee’s division on lawmakers’ affairs, said that the Politburo one day before had issued an announcement, asking the National Assembly to suspend and revise Resolution No.35.

A session of the Party Central Committee that will be organized prior to the National Assembly sitting will also discuss changes to a regulation regarding confidence votes on Party leaders.

After the Party session, the Politburo will issue instructions regarding the votes, Nuong said.

The Politburo’s opinion received the agreement of standing committee members who said it would be necessary to amend the resolution so that it will be more effective.

Nguyen Sinh Hung, chairman of the National Assembly, said the first-ever vote organized last year “truthfully” reflected the country’s social and economic situation.

But, during the process, there were different opinions about the method of voting, he said.

Vice chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said the resolution will not be halted indefinitely, but will be resumed at the next session after being revised.

Issued on November 21, 2012, the Resolution No.35 stipulated that officials who serve in positions appointed or approved by the National Assembly and People's Councils -- local legislatures -- will be subject to an annual vote of confidence.

Voters express a level of confidence in the officials by choosing one of the three options: "high confidence," "confidence," or "low confidence."

If officials receive "low confidence" votes from more than 50 percent of voters two years in succession, they will face a vote of no confidence.

They would also be subjected to an immediate no-confidence motion if two-thirds of voters do not have confidence in them.

Officials who lose confidence can step down or be relieved from their positions.

Vietnam organized its historic vote of confidence at a National Assembly last June, when 492 lawmakers cast their ballots anonymously on 47 officials, including the prime minister and the president.

All the officials voted won the 50 percent support needed.

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