Elections for the National Assembly and People’s Councils at all levels in Vietnam on May 23 took place “seriously” and showed “positive signals,” a sociologist told the BBC from Hanoi.
Commenting to BBC News Vietnamese from the Institute for Social Development Studies (ISDS) on Sunday, Dr. Khuat Thu Hong, Director, said:
“I do not have complete information about holding elections in all places, so it is difficult to make general comments.
From what I’ve seen, there’s been a lot of effort to make the election serious and safe.
Voters are informed individually. The organization of voting in the place where I go to vote is serious.
In my opinion, there are two positive signals in this election. That is, firstly, information about the candidates is publicly announced. It is easy to search for delegates of your interest online.
And second, the people, many of whom are young, are more interested in voting than in previous years.”
What do people care and expect?
When asked what people in Vietnam are most concerned about right now and what they expect from the new National Assembly, as well as the new Government and their newly elected deputies, the sociologist replied:
“I think the Vietnamese people expect an acting and clean government that is capable of bringing the country through the Covid-19 pandemic and effectively overcoming its impact to continue economic development.
I follow the press and social media and see that many people emphasize the element of ability and youth.”
In response to the question of the civil society sector and Vietnamese NGOs, what are the expectations, and expectations for the new National Assembly, the new Government and the delegates of this new term, Ms. Khuat Thu Hong said:
“I think that the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community organizations (CBOs) in Vietnam have always considered themselves a part of Vietnamese society.
Of course, their wishes are not separate from the people’s desire for a country that is rich, strong, democratic, and just like the goals that Vietnam has pursued over the years.
They also want the new government to have more open policies, enabling these NGOs to develop their capacity to contribute more effectively to the country.”
“A step in the right direction of society”
Recently, an independent candidate for the National Assembly has appeared in Vietnam, who has publicly disclosed his social gender orientation, which is specifically a member of the LGBT community.
Candidate Luong The Huy passed several rounds before entering the election day.
When asked, although it is still waiting to know the results, whether this alone is a positive, promising, and encouraging signal, Ms. Khuat Thu Hong replied:
“I feel that having a representative from the LGBT community and NGOs running for the National Assembly and People’s Council in Hanoi is a positive signal.
It reflects the openness of the Vietnamese political system and the maturity of the LGBT community in particular, as well as of NGOs and community organizations in general.
In my opinion, it’s a step in the right direction for Vietnamese society,” the sociologist told BBC News Vietnamese on May 23.