Vietnam ready for big election day
Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, preparations have been completed in all constituencies nationwide for more than 69 million voters to elect deputies to the 15th National Assembly (NA) and all-level People’s Councils for the 2021-2026 tenure on Sunday.
Posters of the election day are displayed on Hoang Cau Street, Hanoi's Dong Da District.
According to the Government, thanks to the work of the National Election Council, the NA Standing Committee, the Government, the Prime Minister, the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee, and local Party committees and authorities, election preparations have been carried out in conformity with the Politburo’s directions and legal regulations.
For example, in the central city of Da Nang, from early this week, voters were called on to submit their health declarations on the app DanangSmartCity, to the Zalo account 1022, or at khaibaoyte.danang.gov.vn.
After submitting the declarations, voters will receive a QR code to show at the entrance of polling stations.
“The online health declarations are expected to help ensure safety for the election,” said the city People’s Council Chairman and head of the city’s Election Commission Nguyen Minh Triet.
Triet said that due to the complicated developments of COVID-19 in the city, many election units have faced difficulties in verifying the number of voters, particularly as more and more voters are in quarantine.
To date, the city has 36 concentrated quarantine areas, 19 locked-down areas, 49 areas with entrance restrictions and more than 6,000 people who reportedly had contact with confirmed COVID-19 cases.
He said all 525 polling stations in the city had conducted drills to respond to COVID-19 incidents, arranged specific voting times for groups to avoid crowds and appointed backup staff to replace poll workers who are quarantined before election day.
In the central province of Quang Binh, border guards have helped voters, particularly fishermen learn more about the election, the work of deputies, voters’ rights and obligations as well as the voting time.
Fisherman Le Trung Hieu of Duc Trach Commune, Bo Trach District, said border guards visited his house to tell him about the election.
“When I have free time, I go to the polling station to read about candidates,” he said, adding that he admired the candidates for their educational levels, competence, morality and action programmes.
“I hope elected deputies would pay more attention to fishermen, the marine economy as well as education and healthcare so that Quang Binh could further develop with its marine potential,” he said.
In the southern province of Tien Giang, the healthcare sector has developed measures to ensure safety for voters.
Director of the province’s Health Department Tran Thanh Thao said they prepared staff, medical equipment and medicine for people during election day.
The province’s Centre for Diseases Control was responsible for delivering medical instructions at polling stations, she said.
On Tuesday, National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue, Chairman of the National Election Council, hosted a national teleconference on the election.
The top legislator said all the preparations for the election have basically been completed.
With regard to COVID-19 prevention and control, Hue said all the personnel involved in election preparations have undergone testing, and they are receiving vaccinations, especially in high-risk areas. Inoculations have also been provided to candidates.
He asked for flexibility in arranging polling stations in places with social distancing imposed, concentrated quarantine sites and locked-down areas.
The legislative leader also agreed with some localities’ proposal on holding early voting in areas with a complicated COVID-19 situation. He stressed that no localities or constituencies should hold voting behind schedule.
Minister of Home Affairs Pham Thi Thanh Tra said to gear up for the elections, organisations in charge of voting have been set up in localities, with 63 election committees at the provincial level, 682 others at the district level, and 10,134 at the communal level.
On May 16, a week ahead of the official election day, soldiers and people living and working in the island township of Truong Sa and the island communes of Sinh Ton and Song Tu Tay, in Truong Sa District of central Khanh Hoa Province went to the polls.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has become more complex, prevention measures were put in place to ensure safety.
Chairman of Truong Sa District People’s Committee Le Dinh Hai, head of the district’s electoral commission, said prior to the election day, two surveillance vessels were arranged to transport ballot boxes, voters’ cards, and decorations for the election to each island and polling station, adding they would receive the ballot boxes and return to the shore by Saturday.
In the central province of Quang Nam, early voting was held in six border communes of Nam Giang District, with nearly 5,000 voters, mostly Co Tu and Gie Trieng ethnic people, casting their ballots at 24 polling places.
According to the Director of the provincial Department of Home Affairs Tran Thi Kim Thoa, the locality ensured good security and social order before and during the election day, while documents were meticulously prepared ahead of the day.
COVID-19 prevention measures were also in place, with face masks and sanitiser offered to voters, while physical distancing was maintained.
All localities across the country have been ready for the general election, an important political event of the country which is slated for May 23, said Bui Van Cuong, General Secretary of the National Assembly and Chairman of the NA Office.
Many roads in Hanoi have been decorated with panels, flags, banners, and propaganda slogans for the election day of the 15th National Assembly and all-levels of People’s Councils for the 2021 to 2026 tenure, which will fall on May 23.