Mar 31, 2013

Vietnam - More discussion on Communist Party’s role in the revised Constitution

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VietNamNet Bridge - Discussion on the draft amendments to Constitution 1992, full-time National Assembly deputies disagreed with the way that some agencies responded to the proposal of removing Article 4 on the role of the Communist Party. They said that that attitude may make people skeptical that the State does not believe in them.

The Chief of the NA delegation of Thai Binh province, Mr. Pham Xuan Thuong, said that in his meetings with local people, not many people suggested to abolish Article 4 of the Constitution. But there is a paradox that the mainstream news agencies have done “too much” in propagandizing of the need to keep Article 4, which by chance has created an abnormal recognition.

According to Thuong, it is unnecessary to launch a propaganda campaign to confirm the viewpoint of maintaining Article 4 just because of some people’s proposal of removing that article.

"The people may think that we do not trust them. They will be skeptical about this," he analyzed.

Thuong said that it is the best way to maintain the contents of Article as the current Constitution because if that article is not amended, the role and position of it will still exist as it has been. Meanwhile, the addition of some new contents causes unnecessary controversy and makes things "problematic."

He cited an example: the draft amendment is supplemented with the new content “the Party is under the supervision of the people" but it does not specify how the monitoring, so in most of the discussions, people are focused on this issue.

The addition of the content "party members must comply with the Constitution and the law," also make a distinction between party members and other citizens, Thuong added.

"So I suggest keeping the article as it is at present," he said.

Deputy Nguyen Ba Thuyen (Lam Dong) said that it is necessary to learn from experience of receiving comments of the people on the draft amendment to the Constitution because recently, many news agencies have focused on the need of Article 4 of the Constitution, which makes people anxious while a majority of opinions confirmed the maintenance of Article 4.

Full-time deputies said that it is important not to abolish or keep Article 4 but the discussion to clarify innovation in the way of leadership of the Party in the new situation.

Deputy Pham Duc Chau of Quang Tri province said that the difference in opinion is normal. "The people who we met did not care about different viewpoints on Article 4. They are only interested in the issues related to themselves," Chau said.

Constitution Council

Most of deputies showed their worry over the practical effect of the model of the Constitution Council, although the editorial board insisted on the rationality of this model.

Mr. Pham Xuan Thuong said that this model is unnecessary because with its function of making recommendations, this agency will not play any important role. He suggested giving this function to the procuracy sector instead of creating a new advisory council and then the council’s assistant agencies.

Mr. Pham Duc Chau agreed, adding that with the advisory function only, such a council is unnecessary.

Deputy Chief of the NA delegation of Ho Chi Minh City - Huynh Thanh Lap – was afraid that this agency would conflict with the existing advisory institutions of the NA.

Some deputies said that if that council is still established, its name should be changed into the Council for Protection of Constitution and its head must be the President.

Le Nhung

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