Nguyen Thai Hoc, deputy head of the Phu Yen provincial deputies delegation, spoke to newspaper Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Viet Nam Economic Times) about citizen feedback.
Up to 70 per cent of people's petitions or denunciations are related to the land issue. In your opinion, is there any way we can protect people's rights and duties, particularly regarding the land issue?
In my opinion, there are various ways for people to participate in the development of land policies or to express their ideas.
Before the 2013 Land Law was adopted by the National Assembly, many conferences or meetings were organised to get people's ideas. While contacting voters in their constituencies, National Assembly deputies also asked voters to provide comments or suggestions to make the laws match their aspirations and wishes. So, I think these are the right ways for people to participate in the process of lawmaking.
There is another channel in which citizens can voice their concerns - by sending their complaints or denunciations to both local and central government authorities.
Cases of denunciations/petitions on the land issue keep resurfacing. In your opinion, what are other causes besides inappropriate policies?
According to statistics, petitions and denunciations relating to the land issue, particularly land clearance or resettlement compensation, are the main triggers causing people's anxieties, as their interests are infringed.
However, in other areas relating to the Government's policies or regulations, if the people or organisations are not happy with them, they can send petitions or denunciations to concerned agencies and ask them to reconsider.
In reality, up to 70 per cent of the denunciations/petitions relate to land issues. However, less than 50 per cent of them are right. This is an indication that not all denunciations/petitions are correct.
Do you think that in the Law on Referendum we should only conduct a referendum in areas/regions that would be affected by a certain law?
Dealing with this issue, it is important to differentiate the scope of the referendum. If it affects the homeland or the whole nation, we should organise a referendum. If the issue affects people in a certain region or areas only, consultations should be held with people living in that region or areas.
That's why when a big project is going to take place in a region, and the project requires a big number of households to resettle in other areas, we'll have to organise consultations with affected households. And in reality we have done that already.
However, a nationwide referendum will only be organised if it pertains to major issues, such as the Constitution, national sovereignty or the country's socio-economic development.
If the people want to contribute their ideas to other draft laws, where can they send their comments?
There are various ways. They can send their ideas to social or political organisations in which they are members.
In Viet Nam, all social or political organisations have the right to supervise or give counter-arguments to the Party or Government's policies.
Has the draft Law on Referendum received many comments or suggestions from National Assembly deputies and voters?
By now, many comments and suggestions have been sent to the law drafting committee.
Although there are differing opinions on the draft law, they all confirmed the need to have a Law on Referendum. — VNS