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Cablegate: 11th National Assembly Opening

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

151047Z Jul 02

2002HANOI01780 - UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTO0440

PAGE 01 HANOI 01780 151057Z
ACTION EAP-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00
SRPP-00 DS-00 OIGO-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00 H-01
TEDE-00 INR-00 LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00
NSCE-00 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PER-00 PM-00 PRS-00
ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00
DSCC-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /007W
------------------CB2E9E 151058Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 7031
INFO AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS HANOI 001780

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

FOR EAP/BCLTV

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PINS VM DPOL
SUBJECT: 11TH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OPENING

REF: A. HANOI 1760 B. HANOI 1432

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 01780 151057Z

1. (U) SUMMARY. THE NEW NATIONAL ASSEMBLY WILL BEGIN
MEETING ON JULY 17, BUT HAS YET NOT SCHEDULED THE VOTES ON
THE NEW GVN AND NA LEADERSHIP (REF A). THE NEW NA IS NOT
EXPECTED TO PASS ANY NEW LEGISLATION AT THIS INITIAL SESSION
OTHER THAN THE BUDGET. IT REMAINS POSSIBLE THAT THERE ARE
CONTINUED DISAGREEMENTS OVER SENIOR LEADERSHIP SLOTS. END
SUMMARY.

2. (U) IN A MEETING WITH POL/C ON JULY 15, VICE CHAIRMAN
OF THE OFFICE OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY (ONA) PHAN THANH SON
CONFIRMED THAT THE FIRST SESSION OF THE 11TH NATIONAL
ASSEMBLY WILL CONVENE ON JULY 17, TO BE FOLLOWED BY A FORMAL
OPENING (TO WHICH THE AMBASSADOR HAS BEEN INVITED) ON JULY
19TH. THE FIRST TWO DAYS WILL BE SPENT MOSTLY ON PROCEDURAL
ISSUES, ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT GIVEN THAT 348 OF THE 498
DELEGATES ARE NEWCOMERS (REF B). ONA HAS DISTRIBUTED TO ALL
DELEGATES VOLUMINOUS MATERIALS ON NA PROCEDURES AND
PRACTICES ON WHICH THE DELEGATES CAN BONE UP PRIOR TO THE
OPENING, SON ADDED, WHILE ADMITTING THAT THERE WAS NO TRUE
TRAINING OFFERED TO THE NEW DELEGATES.

3. (U) THE FIRST NA SESSION IS SCHEDULED TO LAST UNTIL
ABOUT AUGUST 10, SON NOTED. ITS MAJOR ORDER OF BUSINESS
WILL BE THE ELECTION OF A NEW LEADERSHIP SLATE, STARTING
WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE SRV, FOLLOWED BY THE PRIME
MINISTER, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTERS, AND THEN THE CABINET
MINISTERS, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, HEADS OF
OTHER MAJOR GVN ORGANS, THE MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
STANDING COMMITTEE, AND FINALLY, HEADS OF THE MAJOR NA
COMMITTEES. THE NEW STANDING COMMITTEE WILL MAKE THE FINAL
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 01780 151057Z
DECISIONS ON WHICH 125 DELEGATES WILL BE APPOINTED AS "FULL-
TIME" MEMBERS. SON SAID THAT THEY WOULD BE CANVASSED FIRST
AS TO THEIR WILLINGNESS TO ACCEPT THIS JOB (WHICH WILL IN
ALMOST ALL CASES INVOLVE EARLY RETIREMENT FROM OTHER PARTY
OR GOVERNMENTAL JOBS), AND ADMITTED THAT SOME MAY VERY WELL
DECLINE THE HONOR FOR FAMILY OR OTHER REASONS.

4. (U) (SBU) SON DECLINED TO PREDICT EXACTLY WHEN THESE
PERSONNEL "ELECTIONS" BY THE NA WILL TAKE PLACE, AND CLAIMED
THAT THE SIXTH PARTY PLENUM HAD NOT YET FINALIZED ITS
DECISIONS ON RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THESE SLOTS. (SEPARATELY,
A CPV OFFICIAL CONFIRMED TO POL/C ON JULY 15 THAT THE PLENUM
HAD ENDED JULY 15 AS PLANNED, BUT WAS UNABLE TO PROVIDE ANY
INFORMATION AS TO THE PERSONNEL RECOMMENDATIONS REACHED BY
THE PLENUM.) SON REFUSED EVEN TO PREDICT THAT THE PERSONNEL
VOTES MIGHT TAKE PLACE DURING THE WEEK OF JULY 22, NOTING
THE NEED FOR THE NEW NA TO HEAR A NUMBER OF REPORTS FROM THE
PRIME MINISTER AND OTHER SENIOR OFFICIALS ABOUT THEIR WORK
OVER THE PREVIOUS FIVE YEARS AND PLANS FOR THE NEXT FIVE
YEARS.

5. (U) (SBU) SON INDICATED THE POSSIBILITY THAT THERE
COULD BE COMPETITION ESPECIALLY OVER THE JOBS OF PRIME
MINISTER AND CHAIRMAN OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY (SUGGESTING -
- SOMEWHAT IMPROBABLY -- THAT THE PARTY AND STANDING
COMMITTEE MIGHT NOMINATE DIFFERENT CANDIDATES), OR AT LEAST
THAT THE INCUMBENTS MIGHT NOT BE RE-ELECTED (REF A). HE
DECLINED, HOWEVER, TO OFFER ANY PERSONAL OPINIONS ON THIS
PROCESS OR ITS OUTCOME.

6. (U) SON CONFIRMED THAT THE ONLY LEGISLATION THAT WILL
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HANOI 01780 151057Z
BE CONSIDERED AT THIS INITIAL SESSION WOULD BE THE NATIONAL
BUDGET. HE SPECIFICALLY RESPONDED THAT NO BTA-RELATED
LEGISLATION WILL BE INTRODUCED FOR CONSIDERATION. THE NA
WILL CONVENE AGAIN IN OCTOBER FOR NORMAL LEGISLATIVE DUTIES,
HE NOTED.

7. (SBU) COMMENT: WHILE WE CONTINUE TO EXPECT THAT THE
PARTY WILL CONTROL THE PERSONNEL PROCESS AND THAT THE NA
WILL CONFIRM THE PARTY'S CHOICES, IT APPEARS INCREASINGLY
LIKELY THAT THE BACKSTAGE DISCUSSIONS OVER LEADERSHIP
CHOICES HAVE BEEN LIVELY AND PERHAPS CONTROVERSIAL. WE DO
NOT EXPECT MUCH OF A TRUE DEBATE OVER NOMINATIONS WITHIN THE
NA, BUT ITS RATIFICATION PROCESS MAY NOT BE AS AUTOMATIC AS
BEEN THE CASE IN SOME PREVIOUS NA SESSIONS. THE DEBATE MAY
IN ANY EVENT OFFER AMPLE OPPORTUNITIES FOR AT LEAST OBLIQUE
CRITICISM OF SENIOR OFFICIALS OF THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT,
ESPECIALLY IN THE PUBLIC SECURITY MINISTRY, ALLEGED TO BE
INVOLVED WITH THE NAM CAM CORRUPTION CASE.
BURGHARDT

UNCLASSIFIED

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