Law on Referendums promotes democracy and the people’s right to mastery


Referendum is a tool for the people to directly express their will and exercise their power over issues of national importance at a particular time. Referendum has been widely recognized as one of the values of direct democracy in modern society.
According to the Viet Nam Lawyers' Association, currently about 78 per cent of countries and territories in the world have a law or some form of legal regulation that enacts referendum powers. So far, 167 of 214 countries and territories have issued laws or legal regulations on referenda.
In Vietnam, referendum has been known since 1946 with the emergence of  the country’s first Constitution. Referendum is a way for people to express their will and power to important issues of a country directly. However, the work of collecting people's comments or giving the power to people to decide over such issues remains limited in Vietnam. Though referendum is stated in the country's constitution, there is no legal document yet to give out its details.
 Bearing in mind the significance and importance of referendum, in 2014 the Vietnam Lawyers Association (VLA) prepared and submitted to the National Assembly a project to build a law on referendum and then was assigned by the National Assembly to draft the law.
And, on November 25th, 2015, Vietnam’s law-making National Assembly (NA) approved several new human rights-related laws, the most prominent of which is the Law on Referendums. With a majority of votes, the legislature passed the Law on Referendums, which consists of nine chapters and 56 articles, stipulating requirements for deciding and holding a referendum, issues relating to referenda, referendum scale, referendum procedures, and outcomes of referenda and their validity. The law will take effect on July 1, 2016.
Under the new legislation, the NA has the right to conduct a referendum to gather opinions of people on key issues of the country.
These issues include a part of the Constitution; special problems related to sovereignty, national territory, and defense, security and external relations that directly affect national interests; crucial social and economic matters that significantly influence the country’s development; and other important issues.
A referendum is valid when at least three quarters of the total number of voters nationwide take part, and its results are recognized only when over half of the eligible ballots are cast, the law says.
For a referendum on Constitution-related issues, its results are valid only when at least two-thirds of the total qualified votes are counted, according to the law.
Notably though, the result of a referendum is final and decisive in the issue raised for feedback from the public, according to Article 11 of the legislation.
That means the result of a referendum will take effect directly, without having to undergo any examination by any agency.

The law specifies the 2013 Constitution, comprehends Vietnam’s legal system, and promotes democracy and the people’s right to mastery.
As Vietnam is integrating intensively and extensively with countries in the region and around the world on economics and politics, the issuance of the Referendum Law is of great importance, aiming to enable people to further participate in the country’s important issues, towards building an equal, democratic and civilized country, and contributing to ensuring sustainable development in the international integration process.
The Voice of Vietnam quoted Phan Trung Ly, chairman of the NA Law Committee, that the issuance of a law on referendum would be a milestone in democracy in Vietnam, allowing the people to directly decide the country's issues, showing the mastership of the people.
“The Socialist Republic of Viet Nam is the country where the people are the masters; all the state power belongs to the People” according to the Article 2 of the Constitution.
         The bill on referendums promotes democracy and the people’s right to mastery and expands direct democracy for all citizens. It attaches special importance to the people’s power, national unity, and social consensus. The motto “people know, people discuss, people do, and people monitor” has been widely implemented in society. The law on referendums reflects this principle of considering people the root of the country./.
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All comments [ 15 ]

John Smith 4/1/16 22:43

The issues to be brought to referendum should be considered thoroughly with specific principles and criteria.

Jane smartnic 4/1/16 22:45

I think the NA Standing Committee, the president, the government or at least one third of the NA members are who can propose for a referendum.

Deck Hero14 4/1/16 22:48

Law-makings are vivid examples to confirm Vietnam's respect for democracy.

Gentle Moon 4/1/16 22:49

The law needs to make clear when a referendum is needed and who decides whether an issue can be put forward for a referendum.

Pack Cassiopian 4/1/16 22:50

Issues proposed for referendum must be those of great significance to the country’s common interests, as well as the rights and legitimate interest of the majority of people.

LawrenceSamuels 4/1/16 22:52

In my opinion, the law is a great expression of human rights!

Love Peace 4/1/16 22:53

A valid referendum must have votes from more than a half of the number of listed voters, and the solution will be announced for implementation.

yobro yobro 4/1/16 22:55

A referendum is a public vote to decide a key national issue that shows people's mastery of the country.

Only Solidar 4/1/16 22:56

I agree with yobro yobro. Issues that only have regional or local impact will not be put to referendums but public opinions can be collected under existing law.

MaskOf Zero 4/1/16 22:57

The law provides people with opportunities to decide national issues, contributing to building a socialist state governed by law, of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Elizabeth Green 8/1/16 06:18

recently in Vietnam, referendum has been promoted. many important policies have been posted for comments of the people

Jack Walker 8/1/16 06:24

Vietnamese people inside and abroad have had chances to contribute suggessions on the draft documents of the 12th Party Congress was also pulicly

Dennis White 8/1/16 06:28

in Vietnam the democracy has increasingly been expended. the Goverment always guarantee the fundamental rights of the people

erica black 8/1/16 06:29

so right, the issuance of the Referendum Law shows clearly that

Evans David 8/1/16 06:31

The law on referendums reflects this principle of considering people the root of the country

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