Mar 31, 2013

Vietnam - The role of the army in Constitution in discussion

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VietNamNet Bridge – The army is always associated with the regime, the regime is under the Communist Party’s leadership. If the army is not politicized, it will become the robot army, the mercenaries, said Major General, Professor Bui Phan Ky, an expert of the Defense Strategy Institute at a recent seminar for comments on the draft Constitution organized by the People's Army Newspaper in Hanoi.

Ky made his comments on the opinions that whether the military should stay out of politics, to be politically neutral, and is it necessary to specify in the Constitution that the military is loyal to the Party, grateful to the people, or just writing "loyal" to the country and people?

This involves in the debate on Article 70 of the draft amended Constitution, which stipulates: "The People's Armed Forces must be absolutely loyal to the Communist Party of Vietnam, the country and the people; is responsible for the protection of independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the country, national security and public order and social safety; protect the Party, State and people, the socialist regime, and join the entire people to build up the country and implement international obligations."

He confirmed that the nature of the Vietnam People's Army in the last 70 years is the force that is loyal to the Party, the country and the people. The order of words does not make its nature different. He added that the armed forces today are the new type of armed forces, which does not have only the duties in the wartime.

It is the armed forces that serves the goal of independence, sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity of the country, national security and public order and social safety; protects the Party, State, the people and the socialist regime.

According to him, the military is always associated with the regime, the regime that is under the Party's leadership. Therefore, if the military is out of politics, it will become a robot army force, the mercenary.

He also said that the country and people cannot be understood vaguely and generally. The country always belongs to someone, for whom, by whom.

Lieutenant General, Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Hoi – chief editor of the People’s Defense Magazine – said that Article 70 of the Constitution on the specific role of the armed forces with a firm objective basis is the objective constitutional content of history, which has existed for nearly 70 years.

"They deliberately reversed the order and said that the armed force is only loyal to the Fatherland and the people. Meanwhile, Uncle Ho attended the 20th anniversary of the Vietnam People's Army and confirmed that the military is loyal to the Party, grateful to the people," Mr. Hoi stressed.

Dr. Cao Duc Thai, former Director of the Human Rights Institute of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and Public Administration, said that in the current context, the political factor is important.

More than ever, the military needs to have an experienced staff that is loyal to national interests and the people’s interest to carry out the tasks of the peaceful time. In that sense, the Party's leadership role is essential, as important as the staff for the Vietnamese army.

The constitutional role of the armed forces, according to him, is not something special. In many countries, the military not only swears loyalty to the regime, the Party but even specific individuals.

"The constitutionalization of the military’s loyalty to the Party, the country and the people is not downplaying the role of the military but raising the political consciousness of the army for politics, the country and people," said Thai.

He interpreted that loyalty to the Party at the moment is loyal to the Platform, supporting factors, cadres and Party members of all levels who are consistent to the goal of building socialism, the fight against corruption, against group interests.

"The army is not an independent political force, not a branch of power. Any national army is always associated with a certain political forces. Today, in the socio-political crisis, the military is always the object for being seduced by political forces in order to turn the military into a tool to battle for the government," said Thai.

He added: "President Ho Chi Minh said 'The Army is loyal to the Party, grateful to the people.’" Based on the current context of international politics and the country, Article 70 of the draft Constitution based on the content of the words of President Ho Chi Minh is appropriate and necessary. The opinion that the army is loyal to the Fatherland, not associated with the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam is alien to the revolutionary history of our nation."

Lieutenant General, Dr. Nguyen Tien Binh stressed: "being determined not to let the reactionary political parties, politically pragmatic forces and special interest groups or ambitious individuals to hold and control the army in an attempt to entice the military to involve in activities of treason against the people."


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