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NA protests Gov's proposal to reduce its power

Update: November, 22/2019 - 08:30
Hà Nội deputy Vũ Thị Lưu Mai talks at the National Assembly on Thursday. VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — National Assembly (NA) deputies on Thursday were dismayed at a Government proposal to take away parliament’s role in collecting opinions and reviewing draft laws before it is up for vote.

The initial drafter of the laws – most often a ministry – would be handed such power instead.

The power transfer was one of biggest changes proposed in the draft Law on Amendments and Supplements to the Law on Promulgation of Legal Documents.

An Giang Province Deputy Phan Thị Mỹ Dung said she was against the proposal and asked to keep the process unchanged. 

Currently, a committee of the NA is in charge of reviewing, collecting opinions and making final changes to a draft law after it is sent over by law writers. It is then submitted to the NA for approval.

“If it is the Government who proposes, make changes, finalises and implements a law, it will be against the principle as the Government will ‘kick the ball and blow the whistle’ at the same time,” Dung said.

Bắc Ninh Province Deputy Trần Thị Hằng agreed, saying that the current legislative procedure ensured the NA was proactive in making laws while affirming the parliament’s power and responsibility.

Deputy Vũ Thị Lưu Mai from Hà Nội, meanwhile, said if the Government insisted on handing extra power to the law writers, it would be a "step backward in the history of the legislative activities".

According to Mai, the 11th National Assembly in 2002 passed the amended Law on Promulgation of Legal Documents in which one of the key changes was to let the NA collect opinions to finalise draft laws.

The reason for such an amendment was to give parliament the legislative power it deserved, she said, and to tackle political bias in making laws for the sake of citizens and businesses.

“There is absolutely no reason for the (current) 14th NA not to keep the fruitful achievements left by the previous NAs,” Mai said.

Poor laws

Hải Phòng City Deputy Mai Hồng Hải questioned the quality of laws given that there were new laws which had to be reconsidered for amendments after going into effect for only one to two years.

“Are laws being constantly changed because life is transforming too fast or the (poor) quality of writing them?” he asked.

Hải also pointed out the annual legislative plan was disrupted every year when there were new law projects introduced to the NA’s agenda while some were withdrawn without prior notice.

Draft laws were often sent to NA deputies very late when the NA’s meeting already neared, he complained, which made it impossible for deputies to consult local residents in their areas about the laws. 

NA Standing Committee meeting

The National Assembly Standing Committee convened its 39th session on Thursday under the chair of NA Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân

The session heard proposals and reports on the arrangement of district and communal levels administrative units, and the establishment of several urban administrative units in eight provinces, namely Bắc Giang, Thái Nguyên, Điện Biên, Bình Thuận, Hà Tĩnh, Lạng Sơn, Tuyên Quang and Phú Yên.

The committee adopted eight resolutions on the arrangement of district and communal levels administrative units, and the establishment of several urban administrative units in the provinces.

The resolutions will take effect on January 1, 2020.

NA Vice Chairman Uông Chu Lưu said the Government should organise the implementation of those resolutions, and take measures to ensure political stability, social order and safety, and unity in related localities.

The session also discussed the issue of shares by organisations that are not public companies, which is stipulated at Article 30 of the draft revised Securities Law.

Some personnel matters were also tabled for discussion at the session. — VNS

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