Tue, Jun 11, 2013 - Page 6 News List

Vietnam’s leaders in confidence vote

AFP, HANOI

Vietnam’s leaders faced a first-ever confidence vote in the communist-controlled parliament yesterday as the authoritarian regime seeks to defuse growing public anger over a lack of accountability and corruption.

The vote — to be held every year — was approved by the one-party state’s rubber stamp legislature in November last year and requires most senior politicians, including the prime minister and the president, to win support from lawmakers.

The process has been hailed in the official press as part of a new commitment to transparency and accountability, but observers see little threat to the hierarchy and expect the results to be decided in advance behind closed doors.

It will not be “a proper vote” former Vietnamese legislator Nguyen Minh Thuyet said, pointing to a dearth of trustworthy information on how those facing the vote will be assessed.

According to state media, officials who win support from less than half of lawmakers for two consecutive years may be forced to resign — but this is a “complicated,” slow and effectively meaningless process, Thuyet said.

“Everyone will win the vote,” he said, describing widespread concerns that top officials would close ranks to support each other regardless.

The results of the voting — which covers 47 top officials who yesterday submitted reports on their performance — are expected to be announced today.

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