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LinkAsia | Mar 11
Vietnam's Communist Party has stated its desire to change the country's constitution, written in 1992. Reformers hope it will address issues of pro...
Over in Vietnam, the National Assembly Standing Committee is debating a plan to hold annual votes of confidence for the country's top leaders. The idea is to make them more accountable for their actions. The plan calls for all 493 deputies in the National Assembly to vote on the performance of the president, prime minister and the cabinet. Our contributor in Hanoi, Zoe Pham, tells us how people are reacting to the proposal.
On the surface, the annual performance vote seems to indicate that deputies will have more power, but the National Assembly is pretty much a rubber stamp for Vietnam's communist party. So it's not clear much will change. The vote is supposed to go like this: leaders need approval from at least half of the assembly. Those who don't have the deputies• confidence in two successive years might have to resign or might get fired. Voting results will be publicized. However, bloggers doubt its real impact on the country's politics. Nguyen Thong wrote he's not very interested or confident in such votes. He thinks that "if the leaders are really good, they should allow nationwide referendums." Blogger Truong Duy Nhat also doubts that such votes will really bring down anyone, especially top leaders, but he has some confidence in each deputy•s sense of responsibility. He thinks these votes would motivate them to be braver and give momentum for a legislative body with more actual power. His Facebook page got many likes, so some Vietnamese believe officials can reform themselves.
Thanh Truc, a reporter for Radio Free Asia, gathered a spectrum of opinions and views. An unnamed journalist said:
"This voting plan is good in theory, but in practice, it probably won't be effective. It is more symbolic than real."
Another person said:
"Even if it's just a show, it's a step forward."
A vote of confidence may be a small reform, but it might show Vietnamese that their deputies do have the power to dismiss their leaders. In Hanoi, I'm Zoe Pham for LinkAsia.
And that's our show for this week. For LinkAsia, I'm Yul Kwon. Thanks for watching.