Tuesday, October 19, 2021, 02:39 (GMT+7)

Sunday, September 05, 2021, 14:08 (GMT+7)
Viet Nam National Assembly – the convergence of our people’s will and belief

The National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam, now the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, which was born into the revolutionary struggle, is the fruit, noble symbol of national independence and unification. It is also the convergence of our people’s will, belief, and power of the great national solidarity. Over the past 75 years’ foundation and development, after each stage of the revolution and term, the National Assembly has become increasingly stronger and developed, been organisationally strengthened, enhanced quality and efficiency of operations, successfully accomplished its historic missions and revolutionary tasks assigned by the Party, people, and voters, cemented its role as the supreme representative body of the people and the supreme state power organ of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.

75 years’ foundation, reform, innovation, and development of the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam – the convergence of our people’s will and belief

Right after independence, at the first meeting of the Provisional Revolutionary Government held on 3 September 1945, President Ho Chi Minh proposed holding a general election. In response to President Ho Chi Minh’s call for people to go to the polls, it was the first time all citizens, who were eighteen years of age or older, despite men or women, rich or poor, and different religions, enthusiastically participated in the general election for the National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam on 6 January 1946. Victory of the election marked Viet Nam National Assembly’s birth, which is a democratic, crucial institution of a state of the people, by the people, and for the people. This event marked an important milestone in the development of a democracy, manifested people’s will, belief, and power in a grave situation, and laid a vital foundation for the building of the State and new regime.

Over the past 75 years, under the leadership of the Communist Party of Viet Nam, Viet Nam National Assembly has become increasingly stronger, improved both organisationally and operationally, and better performed its function as the supreme representative body of the people, representing people in exercising constitutional and legislative powers, conducting the supreme oversight over the activities of the State, and deciding on important issues for the country.

As far as constitution-making is concerned, since its inception, the National Assembly has drawn up and promulgated five Constitutions in 1946, 1959, 1980, 1992, and 2013 respectively. These are the most basic laws, which have crystallised our people’s will, aspiration, intelligence, and creativity under the leadership of the Party. With the stipulation of important matters concerning political regime, economy, society, culture, education, science, technology, environment, national defence, security, external relations, organisation and operation of the State apparatus, the fundamental rights and obligations of citizens, etc., the Constitutions have formed a political, legal foundation for stable and sustainable development of the country throughout historical periods.

As for legislative activity, this has been one of the key missions in the past terms. The National Assembly puts endless effort into enhancing quality of legislative activity, timely institutionalises guidelines of the Party, materialises the Constitution, follows practical requirements closely, and truly depicts the voice and aspiration of the voters and people. Accordingly, in each term, the National Assembly has promulgated large volumes of legal documents and adhered fully to legislative principles, making vital contribution to perfecting the legal system, which basically covers a wide range of aspects of the social life, including building and perfecting the law-governed socialist State of the people, by the people, and for the people; improving the socialist-oriented market economy; respecting and safeguarding human rights, fundamental rights and obligations of citizens; making up a sufficient legal framework in the fields of culture, society, health, education, training, science, technology, environment, security, national defence, external relations, etc., timely meeting national development requirements in the context of deep and wide international integration.

Regarding supervisory activity, the National Assembly ceaselessly reforms and perfects supervisory content, methodology, and form. In each term, the National Assembly always carefully considers and selects important supervisory content, ranging from macroeconomic issues to burning social issues, by means of copious forms, closely following and aiming to address demands of socio-economic life. Supervisory resolutions, conclusions, and recommendations increasingly tackle the problem straight away.

In recent terms, attention has been paid to supervisory activity with a focus on overseeing the implementation of the National Assembly’s resolutions on planned supervision and interpellation at midterm and last meetings, actively contributing to making and improving law as well as vigorously spurring operations of state agencies from the central to local levels. This further affirms that supervision is one of the most effective means for the National Assembly to control the executive and judicial powers in the exercise of state power.

In respect of deciding on important issues for the country, vital matters about the organisation of the State apparatus, high-ranking personnel, and socio-economic development, strengthening of national defence, security, and external relations are all discussed carefully by the National Assembly. Resolutions of the National Assembly on 5-year and annual,  socio-economic development task, national financial and monetary policy, ethnic policy, national defence, security, external relations, approval of treaties, etc., are all in accordance with the Party’s guidelines, people’s will and aspiration and are operationalised by relevant agencies, organisations, individuals, and the whole people, actively contributing to great achievements in socio-economic development, strengthening of national defence, security, and international integration.

In terms of external relations and international integration, at each stage of history, the National Assembly always grasps and strictly implements principles, mottoes, guiding perspectives on external relations of the Party and State. In the spirit of proactiveness and activeness, external relations of the National Assembly have been synchronously and effectively coordinated with those of the Party, State diplomacy, and people’s external relations, which contributes to firm preservation of a peaceful, stable environment for national development and protection of national interests, independence, sovereignty, unification, and territorial integrity. During the reform period, external relations of the National Assembly are further promoted and broadened both bilaterally and multilaterally, which brings parliamentary diplomacy into depth, fosters a better understanding of Vietnamese nation, people, and culture among international friends, and contributes to improving the role and position of Viet Nam in general, Viet Nam National Assembly in particular, in the international arena.

Regarding organisational structure, the National Assembly ceaselessly strengthens and vigorously reforms itself to bring into full play intelligence, position, role, function, duty, right, and obligation of agencies of the National Assembly, the National Assembly deputies associations, and the Standing Committee of the National Assembly. Over the terms, the structure of the National Assembly deputies has increasingly become more suitable regarding ratio and composition, shown succeedingness, and ensured broad representation of people from all walks of life. The proportion of women, ethnic minorities, and young people has been on the rise. The quality of the National Assembly deputies has been promoted step by step, increasingly affirming their role as the key force in undertaking activities of the National Assembly. Notably, a gradual rise in the number of full-time deputies over the terms has made vital contribution to the increase of quality and professionalism of legislative activity.

Reform and development of the National Assembly always leave prominent hallmarks in each stage of development of the country and are undertaken within the overall reform of the political system and organisation of the State apparatus in line with socio-economic development of the country. “Over the past 75 years and 14 terms, the National Assembly of our country has always had a strong attachment to and accompanied the nation, ceaselessly brought into play its role as the supreme representative body of the people and the supreme state power organ of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam, now the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, effectively carried out its functions, missions, and rights in accordance with the Constitution and law, and made significant contribution to the struggle for national liberation, unification, building, and defence.”

Further reforming and strengthening organisation, improving effectiveness and efficiency of parliamentary activities in the new development period

The opening of the 1st session of the 15th National Assemply

On the basis of functions, missions, and rights as prescribed by the Constitution and law, leveraging tradition in 75 years’ building and development, drawing on experience, achievements gained in preceding terms, the National Assembly is deeply aware of voters’ belief and aspiration, clearly cognisant of difficulties, advantages, and opportunities, especially in the context of our country facing unprecedented challenges, thoroughly perceives guiding opinions of the General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, and continues to bring into full play its sense of responsibility, keep in close touch with the people, respect the people, and be open-minded about opinions of the people. It is necessary to make the most of capability, spirit, and intelligence, determination to conduct reform, creativity and stay in touch with reality to further reform, enhance quality and effectiveness of parliamentary activities, and make correct, timely decisions that suit people’s hearts and minds, contributing to successful implementation of the resolution of the 13th Party Congress.

Regarding legislative activity, to deeply grasp and timely institutionalise the resolution of the 13th Party Congress requires the National Assembly to ceaselessly raise the quality of legislative activity, enforce discipline and law in legislative process, and develop a complete, timely, synchronous, uniform, feasible, public, transparent, stable legal system that spurs reform and innovation and meets the requirement of rapid and sustainable development of the country.

It is an urgent need to push ahead with building and perfecting a law-governed socialist State of the people, by the people, for the people, and under the leadership of the Party. Positions, functions, missions, and rights of state agencies in the exercise of legislative, executive, judicial powers must be specified more clearly on the basis of rule of law, ensuring that the state power is unified, delegated, coordinated, and strictly controlled. It is necessary to well perform State functions and properly address the relationship between the Party leads, the State manages, and the people master, the relationship between the State, the market, and the society. Organisation and operation of the National Assembly must be reformed to ensure that it is truly the supreme representative body of the people and the supreme state power organ. There is need to promote quality, operational effectiveness, democracy, rule of law, and professionalism in the organisation and operation of the National Assembly. The mechanism to oversee and evaluate persons holding positions elected or approved by the National Assembly and People’s Council must be perfected. It is necessary to synchronously establish and align oversight mechanisms of the National Assembly and People’s Council with inspection, supervision of the Party and social supervision and criticism of the Fatherland Front, sociopolitical organisations, and people. There is need to renew organisation and operation of the Government and local authorities at all levels; set up the state administration system, which is aimed to serve the people, democratic, ruled by law, professional, modern, pure, strong, ensuring openness, transparency, and consistent, continual, efficient, effective management. It is important to renew organisation and operation of the judicial body, promote judicial reform, prevent and combat corruption and wrongdoings, practise thrift, respond to wastefulness, and strengthen social order and law.

There is need to further perfect the legal system to recognise, respect, guarantee, and protect human rights and citizens’ rights; perfect the legal basis to correctly, effectively exercise direct democracy, representative democracy, especially grassroots democracy. Legal mechanisms must be developed to successfully, effectively realise new content supplemented at the 13 the Party Congress “The people know, the people discuss, the people do, the people inspect, the people oversee, the people enjoy.”

It is an urgent need to further perfect the socialist-oriented market economy, improve the legal basis to speed up industrialisation, modernisation on grounds of science, technology, and achievements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Law making is to tap into reform and innovation, make the most of advantages, and minimise risks with a focus on effectively dealing with problems arising from the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It is necessary to continue to perfect the regional development planning system and allocate resources for leveraging regional advantages, especially in dynamic economic regions. The legal system is to be perfected to mobilise, distribute, and effectively use resources for development, especially land and natural resources, ensuring openness, transparency, and settlement of disputes, complaints, corruption, and wastefulness. There is need to speed up perfecting the legal system, mechanisms, and policies, ensuring synchronicity and openness of market factors in order to achieve capitalisation, properly distribute and use natural resources. The relationships between economic development, guarantee of social justice, cultural development, development of people, and environmental protection must be properly settled. Laws on culture, education, health, social welfare, social security, science, technology, environment, etc., are to be improved. To perfect the legal system aims to strengthen national defence, security, external relations, and international integration, firmly safeguarding independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. There is need to legalise international treaties and commitments adequately, properly to which Viet Nam is a contracting party; participate in drafting international treaties in an active and responsible manner; proactively shift from participation in existing institutions to proactive participation in drafting new international institutions.

It is necessary to continue to renew legislative process and promote democracy in law making to guarantee that what is prescribed by law is feasible, suitable to reality, and science-based; publicly and transparently receive and respond to the opinions and petitions of individuals, agencies, and organisations during the process of drafting and verifying laws; garner intelligence and encourage the participation of experts, scientists, persons under direct influence of the draft laws, and people in law making. Law making must closely associate with law enforcement. Coordination mechanisms among agencies responsible for the promulgation of law, law enforcement, and protection of law are to be improved. Resources and conditions must be mobilised for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of law enforcement, inspection, and settlement of law violations; reforming administrative procedures; streamlining and strengthening organisations to omit intermediary levels in law enforcement.

As for supervisory activity, the National Assembly needs to make further reform and step up supervisory activity, regarding this as one of the key measures to contribute to enhancing efficiency and effectiveness of the National Assembly’s operations; apply information technology vigorously to renew forms of supervision in accordance with new requirements. It must also continually renew methods of holding question and answer sessions, promote question and answer activity at the Standing Committee of the National Assembly, response to opinions at the Nationality Council and Commissions of the National Assembly, as well as supervisory activity of National Assembly deputies and the National Assembly deputies’ associations. Attention is paid to overseeing law observance and implementation of post-supervision recommendations in connection with concerned organisations’ and individuals’ responsibility for responding to opinions, especially that of the heads. There is need to step up supervising the settlement of citizens’ complaints and denunciations as well as voters’ proposals; continue to perfect and well organise the procedure for conducting votes of confidence on persons elected or approved by the National Assembly as guided by the Resolution of the 13th Party Congress.

In terms of deciding on important issues of the country, the National Assembly is to ceaselessly reform its methods of operation and promote the quality of deciding on issues concerning fundamental goals, targets, policies, and tasks of socio-economic development; investment in national programmes, goals, projects, and so on. More effort should be put into improving the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of deciding on national financial, monetary policies, ensuring discipline and law observance in the fields of finance and budget. It is necessary to enhance quality of deciding on the fundamental foreign policy; further promote the National Assembly’s external relations in close connection with those of the Party, State diplomacy, and people’s external relations, further improve prestige of the National Assembly and position of the country in the international arena. Other countries’ experience in the parliamentary organisation and operation should be selectively acquired with a view to raising the National Assembly’s operational effectiveness and efficiency. Digital transformation in the organisation and operation of the National Assembly needs to be strengthened. More effort should be devoted to renewing and promoting contact with voters, listening to and establishing a strong attachment to voters, reforming and enhancing quality and effectiveness of advisory, assisting work to serve the operation of the National Assembly.

Over the course of 75 years, together with development and improvement in the political system and organisation of the State apparatus, the National Assembly in various terms has become increasingly stronger, innovative, and perfect in terms of organisation and mode of operation; enhanced its operational efficiency and effectiveness, that of its agencies, as well as competency of each deputy. “Achievements recorded by our National Assembly over the past 75 years emanates from correct leadership of the Party, which is key to the National Assembly’s successful fulfilment of its great responsibility assigned by the people,” said General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong at the first session of the  15th National Assembly. The National Assembly, which is the convergence of our people’s will and belief, has been carrying on writing glorious pages in our history, become increasingly stronger, left significant milestones, occupied a firm position in people’s hearts and minds, increasingly affirmed its position and role as the supreme representative body of the people and the supreme state power organ of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.

Given the spirits of solidarity, determination to conduct reform and innovation, exploitation of opportunities, leverage of strength, and resolve to overcome difficulty, we believe that the 15th National Assembly will continue to successfully accomplish the revolutionary mission assigned by the Party, people, and voters nationwide; fulfil the functions, tasks, and powers prescribed by the 2013 Constitution, making vital contribution to successful implementation of the resolution of the 13th Party Congress, being truly the National Assembly of the people and for the people, deserving the confidence and aspiration of people and voters nationwide.

Professor, Doctor VUONG DINH HUE,

Member of the Politburo, Chairperson of the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam

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