The aim of elections for positions in the National Assembly and the People’s Councils is not only to provide the people the best opportunities to exercise their political rights but also promote citizens’ responsibility and strengthen national great unity.

Elections are not only to advance democracy but also strengthen solidarity and social consensus. Via elections, the best people are elected to take the burden of the country. The election of the 14th National Assembly and People’s Councils at different levels for the tenure of 2016-2021 proves that. At this election in May 2016, 98.77 percent of voters turned out to polls. This number shows that the people are well aware of their rights and the functional agencies always try their best to help citizens exercise those rights.

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Our state is rule-of- law socialist one which is of the people, by the people, and for the people. The nature of this state is respecting law and every individual is equal to law, live and work by the Constitution and law. The National Assembly is the highest representative body of the people and the most powerful body of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The National Assembly exercises constitutional right, makes legislature, decides on important issues of the country, and monitor the activities of the State. Meanwhile, the people’s councils are local powers which represent the wills, desires, and mastership of the people, elected by local people, and take responsibilities in front of local people and their higher levels.

According to Vietnamese laws, a citizen of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam who is 18 years old by the election day and meets conditions set by laws, has rights to vote and candidate.

Apart from the Constitution 2013, the right to vote, candidate and take part in State governance and social management is regulated in many other legal documents. Comparing with the former Election Law, the Law on Election of Deputies to the National Assembly and People’s Councils 2015 is broader so that detainees, interns, or those being treated at drug rehab facilities can also vote. Thus, only those who are convicted or lose their ability to adjust civil behaviors are not allowed to vote.

The Government of Vietnam also plans to promote direct democracy, especially at grass-roots levels. This is very important for management and governance at local levels. The Regulations on Democracy at Grass-roots Levels, issued in 1998, facilitated all people to actively participate in building, planning, and monitoring policies of the State. Furthermore, the State also broadens direct democracy by creating new space for the people, especially via the media and new technology tools.

Remarkably, on November 25th, 2015, the National Assembly adopted the Law on Referendum, consisting of 6 chapters and 52 articles, regulating in details the scope and principles of referendum; mandate and mission of agencies in referendum...This law is to ensure that the people can show their will in deciding important matters of the country.

For each Vietnamese, electing and exercising the right to vote is an honor and responsibility to the country. The State always attaches importance to and creates the most favorable conditions for its citizens to exercise those rights.

Translated by Nam Long