VIETNAM

General Information | Electoral System | Last Elections | Presidency of the Parliament

GENERAL INFORMATION
Parliament: Quoc-Hoi
National Assembly
Structure: Unicameral
Chamber: Quoc-Hoi - National Assembly
President: Nong Duc Manh (M)
Secretary general: Vu Mao (M)
Members: 450
directly elected
Percentage of women: 26 %
Term: 5 years
Last renewal: 20 July 1997
Address: Assemblée nationale
35 Ngô Quyên - HANOI
Tel.: (84) 826 5292
Cable: Assemblée nationale, Hanoï
Telex: -
Fax: (84) 804 6997
Affiliation to IPU: Yes
Affiliation dates: 1957 - 1963
1968 - 1975
1979

ELECTORAL SYSTEM

Constituencies:
158 multi-member constituencies divided into electoral units.

Voting system:
Absolute majority vote.
Within each electoral unit, candidates exceed the number of seats to be filled. Those obtaining more than one-half of the votes cast in the unit are declared elected. If, within a unit, all seats are not filled or if the number of voters is less than half of those registered, a simple majority second round vote takes place among the original candidates.
The number of electoral units and number of Deputies to be elected by each is based on population. Each unit may elect no more than three Deputies, and each province and city directly under the central government authority is allotted at least three seats; Hanoi, the capital, is allocated 23 Deputies.
Vacancies arising between general elections are filled through by-elections, unless the remaining parliamentary term is less than two years.
Voting is not compulsory.

Voter requirements:
- age: 18 years
- Vietnamese citizenship
- disqualifications: insanity

Eligibility:
Qualified electors
- age: 21 years
- Vietnamese citizenship

Incompatibilities:
(not applicable)

Candidacy requirements:
- candidates' lists are presented by the Viet Nam Fatherland Front

LAST ELECTIONS
Date(s) of elections / renewal
20 July 1997

Purpose of elections
Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.

Background and outcome of elections
The previous parliamentary elections (for 395 seats) had been held in July 1992. For those of 1997, 666 candidates - including 106 independents and a record number of women (202) - stood for the expanded National Assembly's 450 seats; all candidatures were approved by the Viet Nam Fatherland Front - the umbrella socio-political organization headed by the ruling Communist Party of Viet Nam (CPV) and also comprising the main national mass organizations such as the women's union, trade unions and religious groups. Most of the candidates were locally nominated and 141 of them were " centrally selected ", i.e. representing the central government or state and mass organizations. Another 11 were " self-nominated ".
The campaign period was marked by candidates' meetings organized by the Fatherland Front and attended by selected representatives of the electorate. Issues discussed centered on policies of reform, particularly in the trade and banking sectors. Polling day - acknowledged as more democratic than all recent elections - was marked by a large turnout. Among those elected were three independents, 117 women (an increase of 44), 78 candidates of ethnic minority groups and 384 CPV members. All but 108 of the 450 Deputies were newcomers to the Assembly.

Statistics
VIET NAM National Assembly

1. Results of the elections

Number of registered electors43,672,683
Voters43,493,624 (99,59%)
Blank or void ballot papers
Valid votes


2. Distribution of seats according to political group
(provisional results, CNN, 28/07/1997)



Communist Party384
Non-Party members63
Independents3
___
450


3. Distribution of seats according to profession

Civil servants
Members of mass organizations
Farmers
Political officials
Intellectuals
Artists
Manual workers
Doctors
Lawyers
Clergy
___
450


4. Distribution of seats according to sex

Men333
Women117
___
450


5. Distribution of seats according to age

21-31 years
36-55 "
56-60 "
Over 60 "
___
450



PRESIDENCY OF THE PARLIAMENT

Appointment and term of office | Status | Functions

APPOINTMENT AND TERM OF OFFICE

Title:
President of the National Assembly

Term:
- duration: 5 years (term of House)
- reasons for interruption of the term: resignation, death, dissolution

Appointment:
- elected by all Members of the Assembly
- the election is held at the beginning of the first session of the newly elected Assembly
- after the Members' mandates have been validated and after the Members have been sworn in

Eligibility:
- candidates must be recommended by the Standing Committee of the previous Assembly

Voting system:
- formal vote by secret ballot
- a simple majority is required

Procedures / results :
- the President and the Standing Committee of previous National Assemblies preside over the Assembly during the voting
- an Election Committee appointed by the National Assembly supervises the voting
- the Election Committee announces the results without delay
- the results cannot be challenged

STATUS

Status:
- represents the Assembly with the authorities
- is ex officio Chairman of the Standing Committee
- represents the Assembly in international bodies
- in the absence of the President of the Assembly, the Vice-President can assume his/her role and functions

Board:
[none]

Material facilities:
- allowance
- official residence
- official car
- secretariat
- domestic staff
- bodyguards

FUNCTIONS

Organization of parliamentary business:
- convenes sessions
- establishes and modifies the agenda
- organizes the debates and sets speaking time
- examines the admissibility of bills and amendments
- refers texts to a committee for study
- examines the admissibility of requests for setting up committees and/or committees of enquiry, proposes or decides on the setting-up of such committees

Chairing of public sittings:
- can open, adjourn and close sittings
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning the Assembly
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- establishes the list of speakers, gives and withdraws permission to speak
- establishes the order in which amendments are taken up and selects which amendments are to be debated
- calls for a vote, decides how it is to be carried out, verifies the voting procedure and cancels a vote in the event of irregularities
- checks the quorum
- authenticates the texts adopted and the records of debates
- interprets the rules or other regulations governing the life of the Assembly, based on precedents

Special powers:
- takes part in the approval process of the Assembly's budget
- plays a specific role in the conduct of foreign affairs or defence matters
- is responsible for relations with foreign Parliaments
- is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the Assembly

Speaking and voting rights, other functions:
- takes the floor in legislative debates
- provides guidelines for the interpretation or completion of the text under discussion
- takes part in voting
- proposes bills or amendments
- intervenes in the parliamentary oversight procedure
- is consulted in certain circumstances (dissolution, appointment of the Head of Government, etc.)