Feb 23, 2013

Vietnam - Charter urged to stress direct democracy

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VietNamNet Bridge – Proposed constitutional amendments need to expand the concept of direct democracy, said deputy Lu Van Que, as the National Assembly Nationalities Council convened its 5th plenary session in Ha Noi yesterday, Feb 21, to provide comments on proposed amendments to the 1992 Constitution.

“Whatever the people can do directly, just let them do. That’s the best way to express the idea of direct democracy,” Que, who is chairman of the Fatherland Front’s Advisory Council on Nationalities, said, referring to the current limitation of direct democracy to the election of deputies only. ”The people should be given the rights to dismiss elected representatives who fail to perform their assigned duties.”

The new Constitution should reiterate the phrase that all powers belong to the people while continuing to stress the leading role played by the Communist Party of Viet Nam, said former Nationalities Council chairman Trang A Pao.

“Whatever changes are made to the Constitution should be built upon the foundations of previous constitutions, particularly the 1992 Constitution,” Pao said.

Earlier on Wednesday, in its meeting held to comment on the proposed constitutional amendments, the Viet Nam Fatherland Front (VFF) wanted its role as a representative popular agency to be spelled out more specifically in the amendments.

Former VFF Central Committee vice chairman Pham Xuan Hang said the 1992 Constitution acknowledged the role of the VFF as “a political foundation of the people’s power.”

In reality, however, the institutionalisation of some functions of the VFF had failed to reflect its role, particularly the encouragement of the people to execute their rights of oversight or to be part of supervisory missions organised by local governments.

“It is imperative to include in the amendments the role as a popular counterweight played by the VFF, as written in Party documents,” Hang said.

Tran Dinh Phung, a member of the VFF Central Committee presidium, supported the idea of having stronger words on the nature and the leading role of the Communist Party of Viet Nam.

Commenting on Article 20 in the draft Constitution, Professor Dr Nguyen Duy Quy urged that the phrase “everyone has the right to live” be amended to state that “everyone has the right to live, work, study and pursue happiness.”

Source: VNS

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