Appointment of state officials: Communist Vietnam “turns out to be far behind feudalism”

Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam

Comment from political observers on how and policies to elect leaders of the state and the Communist Party of Vietnam through the event that Hanoi has appointed Chu Ngoc Anh as the new chairman of the city People’s Committee to replace Mr. Nguyen Duc Chung was dismissed.

Policy and method of election and appointment of leaders in Vietnam as through the Hanoi government electing only one candidate, Mr. Chu Ngoc Anh, as the new chairman of Hanoi People’s Committee to replace Mr. Nguyen Duc Chung who was dismissed, seems to be “far behind” compared to feudal times, observers told BBC News Vietnamese.

On September 24, at a seminar on Thursday with the topic “Hanoi has the new chairman: challenges and opportunities,” Dr. Nguyen Xuan Dien, a researcher from the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences told the BBC:

Through the selection, election, and then introduction for election, we can see that the current state of Vietnam is very far behind in the feudal dynasty in planning and training talent.

We know that in the old days, the ruler of the capital city was chosen from among the 18 chiefs of the province, that is to say, the first from the 18 province’s leaders of the Tran Dynasty.”

Among those 18, choose the best one. Who chooses? The king himself chose. The selected one would not be appointed as the Hanoi’s leader but spent a certain time as the city’s Criminal Judge.”

This Criminal Judge oversees the sentence in the capital for a while, if he meets the requirements, then the King will appoint him as the city’s chief. The selection and appointment were not a simple matter.

And in the old days, King Tran Thai Tong personally selected from the first 18 provincial chiefs of the provinces to take one for the Hanoi chief. It took 8 years for selecting and appointing one for the position.”

Using state officials like woodwork?”

Returning to the appointment of presidents of Hanoi today and recently, Dr. Nguyen Xuan Dien commented:

Here, from the man in charge of obstetrics, the obstetrician as Mr. Nguyen Quoc Trieu, to the architect like Mr. Nguyen The Thao, to the policeman like Mr. Nguyen Duc Chung and is up to now a Ph.D. in natural sciences (physics), showing that it does not create and represent a vision, or a plan, or a selection of state official in that position.

‘Using state officials is like woodwork’- the old people said. This ‘use’ for the chairman of the People’s Committee of Hanoi, which the Central Committee, the Central Organizing Commission decided to choose, is that, must wait for the Politburo to decide, showing that the Politburo is very confused in this and does not form a certain direction.

The current state is far behind feudal regimes in terms of selecting officials

So the selection of the chairman of Hanoi City People’s Committee is not coherent, so it becomes a so-called term thinking. It is the thought that arises from the thinking of choosing people to the position of Hanoi city’s chairman of the Party Central Committee, the Politburo, and the Central Organizing Commission.

And Mr. Chu Ngoc Anh became the chairman of the People’s Committee of Hanoi, how many years will he work? If he wants to turn this Hanoi city into a center of science and technology, then the chairman must have at least 10 years to be able to do it, and if he will stay for only two years it will be very difficult for him to do it.

We know that in order to have a Danang city as it is now, late Party Secretary Nguyen Ba Thanh had a very long process,” Dr. Nguyen Xuan Dien told the BBC.

Should learn from the beauty contest?

On this occasion, a number of other observers also shared with BBC News Vietnamese about what they think the Vietnamese government and the Communist Party need to immediately learn about the work of cadres and personnel in the whole country. In order to avoid errors, or “gaps” in wrong or wrong people, including the leaders of important big cities such as Hanoi, Danang, and Ho Chi Minh City, especially when the ruling party is preparing for its 13th national congress scheduled for January next year.

The gap in the wrong choice, wrong leadership, I think of course there is, even a lot from central to local,” stated journalist Mac Viet Hong, editor of online newspaper Dan Chim Viet Online from Warsaw, Poland.

I say simply, like holding a beauty contest – something Vietnam has done a lot over the years – one has to find candidates in all fields, every part of the country.”

This is just around the party, but the only party, so of course many talented people have no chance. Not talented individuals (if not weak) but good at getting through, many intrigues will get high positions and there is no fair competition and talented people have no chances for being selected.

As for the issue of responsibility due to wrong promotion, wrong introduction, wrong assignment, I see that talking about responsibility, Vietnam is a collective responsibility. People can only attribute to certain individuals for some mistake, but those who promoted them remain unhurt.”

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From Hanoi, journalist Hai Dang (ie Quoc Viet) said:

I see that the current mechanism of training and appointing local leaders do not go through direct popular elections, but only takes place in a small group of Party Committees together, then does not let local people have the right to choosing the leader to represent them. The issue is very problematic.

It reveals many flaws and mistakes are inevitable. The error here is the system error, to overcome only the reform of the electoral platform, the legislative process, and even the political system.

For the party and state that in the context of preparing for the 13th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam, regarding the planning, selection of cadres, managerial personnel and leaders at all levels of the government, the state and the ruling party, I see that the whole job must definitely change, to focus on talent rather than “political morality,” even should be available for non-communist individuals.

But I fear that this is definitely not possible because the inertia is too great.”

Does the 13th Congress have any hope?

Also from Hanoi, Engineer Nguyen Lan Thang, a political observer  and civil activist in Vietnam, commented:

On this issue of recruiting, planning and appointing personnel, I see that the Communist Party of Vietnam recognizes itself and practices comprehensive leadership, including that in the Constitution, so the party must be responsible if there are errors in important personnel work, especially at the middle and high level in the apparatus of the party and government from central to local levels.”

But the party always says that it is the collective leader, so when there are mistakes, only a few individuals are dealt with in the manner of ‘good giving’. And the overall mistake in terms of the way, no one is responsible. No one has to pay the price. Ordinary people who have opinions can be accused of being a reactionary force, a hostile force that undermines the peace of the country. In many cases, people are arrested for the reasons created by the government.”

So the 13th Communist Party Congress is about to hold, but I have no great hope for the change of the ruling party. Only when the economic and political pressures are great enough for the people when people change their attitudes, those in power may let go of their self-holding power.”

And I think all the changes if any in the 13th Congress are just a political tactic to get rid of the road deadlock temporarily only,” Engineer Nguyen Lan Thang told BBC from Hanoi. (Translated)


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