Dinh Xuan Thao, Head of the NA's Legislative Research Institute spoke to the newspaper Hai Quan (Customs) on three important qualities for a NA deputy.
Does two third of the National Assembly being part-time deputies affect the work of the National Assembly?
Under the Law on National Assembly Organisation, less than 35 per cent of deputies can work full time. Many deputies argue that this number should be raised to about 50 per cent.
I think the number of full time deputies should be increased. But we cannot do it overnight. When the number of full time deputies is increased, members of the National Council and of other NA Committees will increase. As a result, they will have more human resources to use on law making programmes or supervision activities.
Under the current Law on National Assembly Organisation, there is no possibility of increasing the number of full time deputies. So if the NA wants to improve, all it can do is to raise the quality of future deputies. Do you agree?
I couldn't agree more! In the current 13th National Assembly, the number of re-elected NA deputies from the 12th legislature was lower than 20 per cent.
Under our current law, deputies can stand for NA election as many times as they want. Also there is an age limit for people running for election. That's why, in my opinion, we should not apply the retirement age as regulated in the Law on Cadres and Civil Servants as 60 years old for men and 55 years for women.
At the current NA, several members of the NA Standing Committee or Vice Chairman/Chairwoman of an NA Committee for at least one or two legislatures have accumulated rich experience in their working fields, but they cannot stand for the 14th NA election which is scheduled for May 22, 2016.
Many foreign experts have recommended Viet Nam changing this age limit. If we change this rule, we'll be able to utilise people with rich experience in the field of law making.
It is said that the percentage of young NA deputies at the current 13th NA legislature is rather high. However, their contributions are not as highly regarded as that of the old generation. What are your thoughts?
Young deputies have their own strengths, particularly in science and technology and international trade. But older deputies, have experience dealing with voters. Ideally we would have a balance of old and young deputies.
What is the most important criteria in selecting candidates to stand for the election?
To prepare personnel for a new legislature, it is imperative to combine two criteria – structure and standards. However, between the two criteria, standards should be the priority. To select a good NA deputy, we should focus on their work efficiency, work quality and capacity.
In the just concluded 10th session of the NA, deputies agreed on the establishment of the National Election Council. Will you please elaborate on the differences between the National Election Council and the existing Election Council?
In previous elections, the roles of Central Election Organisation and Local Election Organisation were the same.
In the past the National Standing Committee was in charge of organising the election with support from the Election Council. But now the National Election Council will oversee the NA election nation-wide instead.
In addition, in previous NA elections, the NA Standing Committee and the Central Committee of the Viet Nam Fatherland Committee had to organise three consultation meetings to decide which candidates would stand for the election. But for next years NA Election, there will also be three consultation meetings to decide who will stand for the election, but three parties will take part in the meetings – the NA Standing Committee; the National Election Council; and the Viet Nam Fatherland Front. However, the focal point for organising these consultation meetings is the National Election Council. — VNS