Le Nhu Tien, vice chairman of the NA Committee on Culture, Education, Youth and Children, spoke to Thoi Bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Viet Nam Economic Times) about an upcoming National Assembly confidence motion.
In your opinion, what's the toughest challenge facing the deputies when they vote in the confidence motion against their seniors?
I think the greatest challenge facing the deputies is obtaining sufficient and accurate information about the 49 high ranking positions whom they previously elected.
As part of a Resolution issued by the National Assembly Standing Committee (NASC), anyone included in the motion must submit performance reports at least 30 days before the motion is held so that voters have time to study their performance before making a decision.
However, the reports tend to paint a brighter picture than reality, with more achievements outlined than limitations or weaknesses.
In addition, due to the psychology of Asian people, particularly the Vietnamese, they don't want to hurt anyone, even if they don't like them and know that their weak points override their strong points. No doubt, this attitude will affect the objectivity of the deputies' votes.
Based on what you've mentioned above, the upcoming May confidence vote might not live up to expectations, is that right?
These are the challenges that everyone has anticipated. However, I believe that with their high sense of responsibility, the deputies will vote on behalf of the Vietnamese citizens, because each vote will count.
We have worked on the plan to hold a confidence vote for more than 10 years, and now the time has come. But if the results are all positive, is it bad news? What's your opinion?
Voters have been waiting for this for more than 10 years, but the confidence motion is not a new thing. Our Constitution already includes a vote of confidence for positions elected or approved by the National Assembly and the People's Council.
In addition, the Law on National Assembly Supervisory Activities also includes an article similar to that of the Constitution, but in the last 10 years we have failed to put that regulation into reality.
At the year-end meeting in 2012, the NA adopted a Resolution to hold confidence votes for positions elected or approved by the NA and People's Council. The Vietnamese people are waiting for that moment to come and pinning their hopes on a fair vote.
In my opinion, the general public's high expectations for the event has put a lot of pressure on the National Assembly and the deputies. It is time for the deputies to perform their duties to the voters who backed them during the last general election.
What is your opinion about the confidence vote?
I think it could open the door to more of a "resigning culture" in Viet Nam where top officials have to be accountable for their actions.
If any of the 49 under scrutiny receive a vote of no-confidence, I think they will resign – if they have any self-esteem. If they refuse to resign, the NA will have to hold another vote and by that time they could well face dismissal.
In addition, the confidence vote will spur those in high ranking positions to do more for the voters who put their faith in them. — VNS