Votes of Confidence Up in the Air

The Vietnamese National Assembly argued Monday about whether votes of confidence aiming to remove or approve officials in elected and appointed positions are legal under the amended law on organizing the body.

Some NA deputies said the amended law should make the votes of confidence legal, but others said such votes violate the constitution.

Many NA members said it is unfeasible that a vote of confidence would be held any time 20% of NA deputies wished to do so as the bill states.

Le Van Cuong of Thanh Hoa Province said there should be two kinds of confidence votes: one vote to simply judge how well a job is being done and another vote with the power to remove an official from office.

He suggested that a vote should be held even when only 10% of NA deputies propose.

Hoang Van Xim of Ha Tay Province agreed with Cuong, adding that votes of confidence are normal in many other countries.

But Tao Huu Phung, deputy head of the NA Committee for Economy and Budget, said that when officials are suspected of problems the NA Standing Committee must poll NA deputies and more than half must agree to the confidence vote for it to be held.

“The constitution does not rule on votes of confidence,” he said.

Tran Cong Kich of Ninh Binh Province pushed that when at least two NA deputies request a vote of confidence, the chairman of a NA meeting will ask the whole body and if more than half of them agree, the vote will take place.

The lawmakers also discussed the structure of their governing body. A majority agreed that committees for law, justice, economy, and finance should be established by separating the existing committees for law, and economy and budget. Supporters argued that more committees would help the body function better as each would be more specialized in its particular field.

Reported by Bao Minh – Translated by Tuong Thuy

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