On May 23, voters across the country cast ballots to elect their representatives at the 15th National Assembly and People’s Councils at all levels for the 2021-26 tenure.
As announced by the National Election Council (NEC), as of 22:00 of the election day, the turnout rate was reported to reach 99.43 percent.
|A leader of Ha Tinh province casts his ballots__Photo: Cong Tuong/VNA|
Localities recording a high rate of turnout include Hau Giang (99.99 percent), Tra Vinh and Lao Cai (99.98 percent), Vinh Long and Ben Tre (99.97 percent), Ha Giang, Quang Nam and Binh Phuoc (99.96 percent), and Gia Lai and Quang Ninh (99.95 percent). Thua Thien Hue, Da Nang, Bac Lieu, Dien Bien, and Lam Dong reported the turnout rate of between 99.9 percent and 99.94 percent.
According to statistics of the Ministry of Home Affairs, this is the largest-ever general election, with nearly 69.2 million voters going to around 80,000 polls to elect 500 deputies to the 15th National Assembly from among 866 candidates. Meanwhile, 3,726 deputies will be elected to provincial-level People’s Councils, 22,952 deputies to district-level People’s Councils, and 242,312 deputies to communal-level People’s Councils, for the next five-year term.
All citizens who are aged 18 years or older, including also those in custody or temporary detention, and meet all the law-required conditions have the right to vote.
In a press interview at the end of the election day, Bui Van Cuong, NA Secretary General and Chief of the NEC’s Office, said the election could be deemed successful as there had been no reports of election-related problems from localities.
The success was also shown in the high voter turnout, smooth election activities, strict implementation of pandemic prevention and control measures, guaranteed security, and effective communications, Cuong noted.
He underlined active and careful preparations, close coordination and a high sense of responsibility among forces engaged in election activities as being major factors contributing to the success.
|A voter in a residential area blocked due to COVID-19 casts his ballots__Photo: Xuan Tu/VNA|
Meanwhile, Minister of Home Affairs Pham Thi Thanh Tra told the Vietnam News Agency this was a completely successful election, ensuring democracy, equality, safety and compliance with law. She emphasized that the high turnout rate of voters nationwide, even in COVID-19 pandemic-hit areas, showed the people’s faith in the regime, the Party and the State in building a socialist rule-of-law state.
As scheduled, the NEC will release the election results and the list of elected deputies to the 15th National Assembly on June 12, while the election results and the lists of elected deputies to local People’s Councils will be made public on June 2.
|Soldiers of the Hoa Lu international border gate’s border guard station in Binh Phuoc province cast their ballots__Photo: Sy Tuyen/VNA|
Overview of the election
Given special geographical and occupational conditions, many constituencies nationwide were allowed by the NEC to hold early voting so that voters can exercise their right and duty.
Specifically, officers and soldiers serving on offshore economic, scientific, and technical service platforms in the southern continental shelf and working on board vessels on duty at sea cast their ballots on May 12.
Meanwhile, 20 polling stations in Song Tu Tay commune, Sinh Ton commune, and Spratly town completed early voting on May 16, a week ahead of the official election day.
According to Luong Xuan Giap, Vice Chairman of the Election Committee of the Truong Sa island district, despite inclement weather conditions on some islands, early elections were held safely as scheduled in accordance with law. The islands increased their vigilance and combat readiness to defend national sovereignty during this general election.
The NEC also approved the early elections in a number of constituencies of 16 provinces and cities nationwide on May 22, including Hai Phong and Can Tho cities and the provinces of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Dinh, Ca Mau, Dak Nong, Hau Giang, Kien Giang, Khanh Hoa, Quang Nam, Quang Binh, Nghe An, Kon Tum, Dak Lak, Bac Lieu, and Bac Ninh. Voters of such constituencies are mostly persons having to work at sea on the official election day, those residing in deep-lying, remote and mountainous areas, officers and soldiers safeguarding borders areas and islands, and persons on the frontline in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Facing the complicated developments of COVID-19 in the province, Bac Ninh held early voting sessions at 14 polling stations in Bac Ninh city, Tu Son town, Tien Du district and Gia Binh district. Nearly 3,400 voters, all police and military officers of Bac Ninh province, some medical staffs, on-duty forces and those in isolation areas, as well as those receiving treatment in quarantine camps, cast their votes.
At the same day, all voters in Bach Long Vi island district, a frontline island in the northern port city of Hai Phong, went to the polling stations to exercise their citizens’ right.
Amid the outbreaks of the COVID-19 pandemic, all voters had to wear face masks, have their body temperature taken, and fill in health declaration forms, and comply with other epidemic prevention and control measures required in each electoral unit.
On May 23, together with voters nationwide, Party and State leaders also exercised a citizen’s right and duty.
Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong cast his early ballots in Hai Ba Trung district’s Nguyen Du ward of Hanoi.
The Party leader expressed his happiness on the exercise of the citizen’s right and duty together with other 5.4 million voters in the capital.
He also shared his hope that all of those elected to the 15th Parliament and all-level People’s Councils will do their best for the sake of the people and the country, fulfilling their responsibilities and duties in line with the Constitution and law.
Meanwhile, National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue was the first to cast his ballots in An Lao township, the northern city of Hai Phong’s An Lao district.
Speaking to reporters, Hue, who is also Chairman of the NEC, said he expected the new Legislature would bolster reforms to enhance its performance in lawmaking, oversight and decision-making for major issues, and to truly be the highest representative body of the people and the highest organ of state power of Vietnam.
Evaluating preparations for the election, Chairman Hue said the NEC was established much earlier than usual to well prepare for the big day. The election had been organized thoroughly with the involvement of the entire political system with a high sense of responsibility to overcome the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, he stressed.
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc cast his votes in Cu Chi district, Ho Chi Minh City.
Talking to the press after voting, President Phuc, who is also a candidate of Ho Chi Minh City in the National Assembly election, emphasized the great national solidarity, highlighting the need to further promote solidarity among the people, religions as well as Vietnamese at home and abroad so as to jointly develop Vietnam.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh participated in an opening ceremony and cast his ballots in Ninh Kieu district, Can Tho city.
The cabinet leader told reporters the election was really a festival of the people, contributing to building the socialist democracy and a law-ruled state by the people, for the people and of the people. He affirmed that the election had been held in a democratic, open, transparent and fair manner in accordance with law.
Appreciating the organization of the country’s National Assembly election, Carl Thayer, an expert from Australia’s New South Wales University, said Vietnam has made extraordinary efforts in the context of COVID-19 outbreaks.
This is an opportunity for the Vietnamese people to express their voices over such important issues as the nation’s leadership and the strengthening of local governments’ apparatus, he said.-