Vietnam has concluded a new round of elections with one of the world’s most predictable outcomes — the only party won! — but a few surprises that point to modest changes. Most important: Preoccupation with internal jockeying for position can now be replaced with a more singular focus on the country’s considerable economic challenges.
Although the Communist Party has a virtual monopoly on Vietnam’s legislative body, four self-nominated candidates were elected — the vice chairwoman of Hanoi’s young businesspeoples’ association, a doctor who runs his own hospital, and two of the country’s wealthiest businessmen.
Capitalist entrepreneurs in Vietnam’s National Assembly creates some anxiety about potential conflicts of interest, but practical experience in free enterprise is needed for the country to achieve its ambitions.
The peoples’ new National Assemply also includes 78 ethic minorities, 122 women, 62 people younger than 40, and 42 who are not members of the Communist Party. Significantly, it does not include several Communist Party members who had been nominated, suggesting Vietnamese voters are now exercising an element of choice.
More on the 2011 election outcome in Vietnam