Vietnam: People expect to the ruling party to be transparent regarding the election of its leadership

A member of Vietnam’s National Assembly (NA) has just spoken in the media right after the 12th Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) closed on May 14, saying that the party should publicize the selection of its leadership for the next tenure.

In order to measure the trust of the people, there must be a mechanism, such as the need to publish the selecting process of senior officials,” Mr. Vu Trong. Kim, a member of the NA from Hai Duong, told the Voice of Vietnam Radio (VOV) on May 15.

Overview of the 12th Plenum of the CPV’s Central Committee

The selection of the party’s officials must be based on their practical activities in a particular industry, field or locality, rather than making general standards. Those who are good will show the good qualities, as well as expressed by qualifications, practical capacity in solving issues in their jobs, positively impacting on the lives of the people, in the field under their charge,” said Kim, who is a member of the Standing Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, a mass organization working under ambrella of the ruling party.

The 12th Plenum concluded in Hanoi on May 14 focusing on the personnel work and the planning and high-level human resource plans of the CPV towards this 13th Party Congress scheduled to be held early next year.

Two well-informed sources in Vietnam told the BBC that the 12th plenum has not discussed candidates for the four highest titles (the party’s General Secretary, the country’s President, the Prime Minister, and NA’s Chairperson).

The meeting added a list of 40 people who are included in the list of candidates for the Central Committee for the next term, according to these two sources.

At the same time, the plenum took a poll for 87 incumbent members of the Central Committee who are qualified for being elected for the committee for the next term (2016-2021). They are also candidates for the Politburo and the Secretariat next tenure.

However, another person, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that there was a “discussion of the four pillars,” for example, discussing the personnel plan for the position of President, and the Minister of Public Security and the Minister of Foreign Affairs were candidates.

He commented that the plenum created a list of 30 candidates for selecting 24 individuals for final contenders for the Politburo next tenure. As many as 80 new candidates for the next Central Committee.

At the top of the list, according to this source, after taking the vote was Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam is one of the candidates for the Politburo next term

It can be seen that the selection of the highest positions of the party has not been finished.

Looking back before the 12th Congress of 2016, the personnel issues ended at the time close to the congress.

Regarding power fighting in 2016, Mr. Nguyen Duc Ha – a senior official of the party’s Central Organizing Committee, recalled: “In the 13th Plenum, there was a vote for Central Committee members eligible for re-election. The committee then determined who were “special” cases … Finally, at the 14th Plenum, participants voted for the key positions of the Party and the State.”

On May 15, a Vietnamese political observer, unwilling to reveal his identity, made some comments: “In fact, incumbent General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong holds the Human Resources Subcommittee, but he is not sure whether he can control it until the Congress is held. Other subcommittee members may appear to be unified on the surface, listening to him but reality, maybe they have their own plans.”

The hardest issue is to choose the General Secretary in order to avoid choosing one who may suddenly give up the line. Therefore, they will choose the most reliable candidate. The 12th Congress is an example.”

Therefore, it is not simple to select the four pillars, but the highest agreement needs to be reached between the General Secretary and the Prime Minister.”

General Secretary cum State President Nguyen Phu Trong chairs the plenum

Continuing to address the post-plenum 12 personnel aspect, this observer told the BBC: “As far as we know, even if you have to wait for the 13th Congress to see more clearly, 8 Politburo members born from 1957, will run for the 13th term, plus a special case (too old), who will be General Secretary.”

The three candidates for General Secretary mentioned are PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc, NA’s Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and Standing Secretary Tran Quoc Vuong.”

About 80 members of the Central Committee will stay in the 13th term. The new commers will be about 80.”

If Mr. Tran Quoc Vuong is selected to be General Secretary, then Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan may have to retire.”

But Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan maybe selected in the 13th and 14th plenums.”

As such, the party may also have the first female General Secretary, let’s see what that possibility is, among other possibilities.”

For example, there are also some signs that people are inclined to choose Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc as General Secretary and that in that case, it is possible that Mr. Vuong Dinh Hue, currently Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee, would be the next prime minister,” an analyst unwillingly to reveal the identity told BBC News Vietnamese on Friday.

Delegates voting for the 12th Plenum program

Researcher Le Van Sinh, former history lecturer of  University of Social Sciences and Humanities (Hanoi National University, told BBC that if the CPV wants to have quality leadership and innovation, the party needs to hold public debates between candidates who need to introduce his/her working program and projects if they are elected. It is not good for the nation if the party is conducting a closed election.

A historical researcher from the National University on this occasion commented on the aspect of better democratization of elections for government and party leadership in Vietnam: “I think if there hasn’t been a real election for the people, then there is at least one democracy in the party, what is it? It’s the members who are elected their leaders.

I see that from the past decades, from the party activities, from the time the party members lived until now, only the Party Congress at the smallest level has allowed all party members to meet and elect its secretary and committee.”

Then why didn’t the Party do a democratic reform within the party itself first? Only then would it be possible to choose really talented people to serve the party and the country. If there is still a way hey, I think there is no way that can prevent bribery.

I think that bribery is related to the current way of recruiting officials, as it is now like the stamp issue of the subsidy period. Only when the subsidy is gone, stamps will become useless.”

From Hanoi, Dr. Nguyen Quang A, stated his opinion at the discussion: “I think that Le Van Sinh’s wish for the Vietnamese Communist Party is a wish for many CPV members. It’s just a wish.”

Photo 5: Netizens flutter to the million-dollar mansion of Secretary Le Viet Chu of the Quang Ngai province’s Party Committee. The mansion was unaccupied after being built. His wife sometimes goes to the mansion which is cared by a female worker.

And there is no democracy in the party. That is to make it fun. Only as long as there must be an innovative leader, and the pressure from the party members is strong. Unfortunately both of these conditions do not exist.”

I can say that with the National Assembly, as long as the ordinary people remain silent, don’t want to speak up, don’t want to exercise their rights, including the right to run for a seat in the parliament, similarly to the situation that communist members don’t want to exercise their right, there will be no democracy in our country,” Dr. Nguyen Quang A stated.

Associate Professor Pham Quy Tho, former dean of the Department of Public Policy, Academy of Policy and Development, said:

In Vietnam, in order to keep the regime in this institution of instability, there are two major directions. One is to fight against corruption.

In order to fight against corruption, we need to have concentrated high power, but then it falls into a spiral of higher power corruption, which is also a risk for the next term.”

Because General Secretary cum President Nguyen Phu Trong will no longer continue, who will go on, will this supremacy be like? Again concentrated power, then become corrupted or not?

The second point is what doctrine for this regime to exist? I think they don’t dare to claim to date any other theoretical foundation up to now, besides what we know is the so-called is a Marxist Leninist ideology and Ho Chi Minh ideology. That is also a foundation and these two pillars are to maintain the regime.” (Translated)

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