Within the State apparatus of Vietnam, the National Assembly (NA) is the highest representative body of the people and the highest organ of State power of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
It exercises constitutional and legislative rights, decides on key matters of the country and performs supreme supervision over the State’s activities.
Highest organ of State power
The legislature is the highest organ of State power, as the Constitution stipulates that all power belongs to the people and the people are the subject of State power. The NA is elected by the people, serving as the highest State agency realizing the people’s power.
Under the Constitution, the legislature has the right to make and adjust the Constitution and laws. It stipulates the most basic and important matters regarding the format and nature of the State; acknowledges, respects, protects, and ensures the fundamental rights and obligations of citizens; and prescribes the basic contents on economic, social, cultural, educational, scientific, technological, environmental, and national defense mechanisms, and the State apparatus.
Through law making and revision, the NA adjusts social relations in each sector. It also decides on the country’s important matters, including major policies, national plans and people’s livelihoods, and basic policies on internal and external affairs, along with socio-economic and national defense and security tasks.
It exercises the right to supreme supervision over all activities of the State and reviews the implementation of the Constitution and laws. Agencies set up by the NA and officials who hold positions elected and ratified by the legislature must be responsible for reporting their performance to the NA, and are subject to supervision.
People’s highest representative body
The NA is the people’s highest representative body, as reflected through its formation. It is elected by voters nationwide in universal, equal, and secret ballots.
The legislative body represents the will and aspirations of the people and is empowered by the people to decide on the country’s major matters. It takes responsibility before the people.
NA deputies form the most basic and important factor in the legislature. They must be eminent citizens in all State and social activities, representing people from all social strata and ethnic groups nationwide.
The legislature is the image of the great national unity bloc, and a symbol of the power of brainpower of the whole nation.
The functions and tasks of the NA have been reflected in areas such as constitution-making, legislation, supreme supervision, and decision-making on the country’s important matters, in order to serve the shared interests of the people.
Over the past 75 years, the NA has been dedicated to working for the national interests, raised the people’s voice, and acted on behalf of the will and aspirations of the people.
Functions, tasks, rights and power of the NA
According to the Constitution and the Law on the NA Organization, the legislature performs three main functions: exercising the constitutional and legislative rights, deciding on important issues of the country, and performing supreme supervision over the State’s operations.
Article 70 of the 2013 Constitution states that the NA is tasked with making and adjusting the Constitution and laws.
It performs supreme supervision over the observance of the Constitution, laws, and resolutions from the NA, and scrutinizes working reports from the President, the NA Standing Committee, the Government, the Supreme People’s Court, the Supreme People’s Procuracy, the National Election Council, the State Audit of Vietnam, and other agencies established by the legislature.
It determines fundamental targets, policies, and tasks for national socio-economic development, along with basic financial and monetary policies; the issuance, amendment and cancelation of taxes; the allocation of proceeds and the use of central and local budgets; safety limits on national, public, and government debts; and State budget estimates and central budget allocation, while ratifying the State budget balance.
It also makes decisions on the ethnic and religious policies of the State, and sets regulations on the organization and operation of the legislature, the President, the Government, the Supreme People’s Court, the Supreme People’s Procuracy, the National Election Council, the State Audit of Vietnam, local governments, and other agencies set up by the NA.
|At a meeting of the NA on March 26, 2021__Photo: VNA|
The NA decides on the election and dismissal of the President, the Vice President, the NA Chairperson, NA Vice Chairpersons, members of the NA Standing Committee, heads of the Council for Ethnic Affairs and committees of the legislature, the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court, the Prosecutor General of the Supreme People’s Procuracy, the head of the National Election Council, the State Auditor General, and heads of other agencies established by the NA.
It ratifies proposals to appoint or dismiss Deputy Prime Ministers, ministers, and other Government members, and judges of the Supreme People’s Court, and the lists of members of the Council for National Defense and Security and the National Election Council.
NA deputies cast votes of confidence on officials holding positions elected or approved by the legislature.
The body also decides on the establishment and dissolution of ministries and ministerial-level agencies of the Government; the establishment, dissolution, division, merger, and adjustment of administrative boundaries of centrally-run cities and provinces and special administrative-economic units; and the establishment and abolition of other agencies in line with the Constitution and laws.
It has the right to scrap documents from the President, the NA Standing Committee, the Government, the Prime Minister, the Supreme People’s Court, and the Supreme People’s Procuracy that run counter to the Constitution, laws, and NA resolutions.
The legislature will issue decisions on amnesty; military, diplomatic and State ranks; and orders, medals, and other noble titles of the State.
Apart from making decisions relating to war and peace, the NA also puts forth regulations on state of emergency and other special measures to ensure national defense and security.
Other functions include deciding on basic policies for external relations; ratifying and deciding on the engagement in or invalidation of international treaties relating to war, peace, national sovereignty, Vietnam’s membership of important international and regional organizations, international treaties on human rights and citizens’ fundamental rights and obligations, and other international treaties that run counter to laws and NA resolutions.
The NA also decides on organizing referendums.- (VNA/VLLF)