Self-nomination Means Good Sign of Democracy

Yesterday, the Tenth Party Congress discussed and approved the regulations on the election of the tenth-tenure Central Executive Committee. Minister of Culture and Information Pham Quang Nghi answered the press on this issue.

Minister of Culture and Information Pham Quang Nghi

Candidates for General Secretary

- Do you think that the direct election for the General Secretary should be done by the Central Committee or by the Congress?

This should be done in accordance with the regulations approved by the Congress and the Congress statutes voted by the representatives of the Tenth Congress. In the morning of April 21, the Congress voted for the distribution of entrusting introduction tickets for the position of General Secretary. However, the election of General Secretary will be done by the new Central Committee. The 11th Congress may change this if representatives vote that the election of General Secretary should be done right in the time of the Congress. The tenth Congress decided that the General Secretary is elected by the tenth-tenure Central Committee. The Congress and the Central Committee will decide on the number of candidates. The nomination for this position has not been made, but when it is time, each representative has the right to nominate.

- If the survey in the Congress for the position of General Secretary shows that there are two candidates with similar votes, will there be an election or a selection?

Up to this minute, I can say that there are two possibilities. First, it depends on the Congress’ wish. If the Congress decides to keep both for an election, I believe that presidium will comply. Second, if one of the two withdraws, the other will be selected.

- To build a strong and Party, as well as to ensure more successes in the fight against corruption, there are opinions that the election of the Central Party Inspection Committee Congress should be left to the Congress, instead of the Central Party Committee to avoid the situation that the Inspection Committee hesitates at supervision and inspection on the members of the Politbureau. What do you think?

The Congress will also decide on how to elect the Central Inspection Committee. There must be an amendment in the Party Charter if it is agreed that the inspection committee will be elected by the Congress. I think if there is the decision that the Congress elects the Central Inspection Committee, it should be discussed carefully to reach unanimity.

I must make clear that it does not mean that the Central Inspection Committee have no rights to inspect the Party’s high-level agencies if it is not elected directly by the Congress. In fact, the Party have disciplined members of the Politburo and some were even expelled from the Central Committee.

- Do you think that the list of candidates to the Central Committee should be made public to reform the personnel work?

I think it depends on the current Party Charter. This change should be discussed from the lowest level and approved in a Congress. For the time being, this is not regulated by the Party Charter. But, as far as I know, the people knew the list even after the congress though it was not publicized.

Self-nomination into the Central Committee

- Publicity helps with the people’s supervision and the elimination of unqualified candidates. Nguyen Viet Tien, Deputy Minister of Transport, is an example in this Congress.

Talking about such specific cases, there are many mechanism and forms designed to supervise party members and officials. Any party member must belong to a specific Party cell or units. Therefore, most wrongdoings have been detected and dealt with.

- Why have there been so few cases of self-nomination into the Central Committee, though it is permitted by the Party Charter?

With the mechanism of selection for election, most of the best candidates have been nominated. All qualified people have been selected, basically. Therefore, I think that there are not so many cases of self-nomination into the Central Committee.

Professor Nguyen Xuan Han self-nominates into Party Central Committee

- Some are of the opinion that the instructions of the Secretariat (of the CPV Central Committee) were released so late that many did not have a thorough understanding to run for the position.

We may not be used to the democratic demand. It comes from both sides. In my opinion, even when the information is released late, they can run for the position if they have good preparations. In the tenth Congress, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Han stand for election into the Central Committee, which I think is a good sign of democracy.

However, the lesson should be learned so that in the next Congress, there will be more self-nominated candidates. There should be early announcement of instructions and criteria for the selection of members of the Central Committtee, against which that self-nominated people can check.

Non-Party member Ministers

- Most current Ministers are members of the Party Central Committee. Do you think that it is necessary? Are there any ministers who are not members of the Central Committee?

The Party’s documents say that ministers are not necessarily members of the Central Committee. Actually, some current ministers or equivalent office holders are not members of the Central Committee. However, in our system, those having management capability will also be entrusted by the Party into the Central Committee. This coincidence does not mean that being members of the Central Committee is a requirement to be ministers. Normally, those qualified to be ministers are elected into the Central Committee and then elected to be leaders. The same thing happens at the lower levels.

- Some say that ministers are not necessarily Party members.

It is good to have this.

- But, with the system of “Party recommending, people voting”, how can people vote for someone not recommended by the Party?

We have a system of nominating and self-nominating. A person who is not a Party member can also run for election to be a minister by himself, which is allowed by the National Assembly.

By Hong Quan – Phan Thao. Translated by Le Thao

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