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Roundup: Vietnamese legislature moots law on referendum

Xinhua, February 26, 2015 Adjust font size:

The ongoing Vietnam's National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee is discussing a draft law on referendum at a meeting session held in capital Hanoi.

Addressing the meeting, which is to be concluded on Friday, Nguyen Van Quyen, Chairman of Vietnam Lawyers' Association, the agency in charge of drafting the law, said on Wednesday that referendum is a way for people to express their will and power to important issues of a country directly.

However, the work of collecting people's comments or giving the power to people to decide over such issues remains limited in Vietnam, Quyen was quoted by local Thanh Nien (Young People) online newspaper as saying on Thursday.

Though referendum is stated in the country's constitution, there is no legal document yet to give out its details, Quyen said.

Nguyen Kim Khoa, chairman of the NA Committee for National Defense and Security said this is a "sensitive and important" law bill which is already included in the agenda of legal building of the NA.

The website of the Vietnamese government on Thursday cited Khoa 's viewpoint that the issues to be brought to referendum should be considered thoroughly with specific principles and criteria.

Chairman of the NA Social Affairs Committee Truong Thi Mai said the result of referendum should be implemented directly based on the decision of the people.

Meanwhile, Ksor Phuoc, chairman of the NA Ethnic Committee gave a different viewpoint, saying the result of referendum should be brought to the NA to consider whether to implement or not.

Regarding who can propose for a referendum, the draft law puts forward two options, one including the NA Standing Committee, the president, the government or at least one third of the NA members.

In addition to those in the first option, the second option states that referendum proposers can include other bodies such as the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee, among others.

Commenting on this, Phung Quoc Hien, chairman of the NA Finance and Budget Committee said who proposes for a referendum must be a group of people, not an individual, as he is concerned that the viewpoint of an individual may affect the whole political system.

According to Vice NA Chairman Uong Chu Luu, referendum proposers could be president, government and others, but the NA will be the competent one to give out the final decision.

Speaking at the meeting, Nguyen Sinh Hung, the NA chairman, said it is necessary to complete related documents to the law bill, including comments of concerned agencies, before submitting to the National Assembly meeting in May 2015.

Vietnam's state-run radio Voice of Vietnam quoted Phan Trung Ly, chairman of the NA Law Committee that the issuance of a law on referendum would be a milestone in democracy in Vietnam, allowing the people to directly decide the country's issues, showing the mastership of the people. Endi