Independent delegates less than a decade ago stood for a vote this year in the 500-seat Parliament.
Vietnamese plainclothes voters went to the polls on Sunday, with tens of millions of people expected to vote on a rubber-coated parliament in the wake of the COVID-19 scandal.
Few independent candidates represent the 500-seat parliamentary election, which takes place every five years and the ruling Communist Party will usually hold its own meeting to elect new leaders.
Despite the changing demographics of Southeast Asia and more trade, the Communist Party – one of the last communist groups in the world – still holds sway over Vietnam and the media, and is tolerant.
About 69.2 million voters will also vote for members of provincial and state councils.
“I believe that all voters, recognizing their role as citizens, will go to the polls to elect people who are trustworthy and worthy of their representation,” Vuong Dinh Hue National Assembly chairman
About 92% of those who want to go to the National Assembly are members of the Communist Party, which also looks for candidates.
The number of non-party members this year has dropped to 74 from 97 in previous elections in 2016. Local journalists say the number of non-party lawmakers has dropped in the last three elections.
Statistics show that 99% of Vietnam’s 67.5 million registered voters participated in the 2016 elections.
Voting is not known, but each voter’s name, age, occupation, race and address are posted outside the polling station.
The election comes as Vietnam battles a new war of COVID-19 that has spread rapidly, infecting 2,066 people since it began in late April.
In the state of Hanoi in Long Bien, about 30 voters were seen sitting in the polling station for their time, all wearing masks.
Before standing in line, voters were heated at a nearby table where they were provided with free masks and cosmetics, and a microphone to be placed at a distance.
Hue said Sunday’s vote was the first “in the midst of a deadly coronavirus epidemic that has spread to nearly half of the states, and many of them have been shut down”.
He said the organizers had taken steps to ensure that the elections were conducted in a responsible manner.
The results of the elections are announced after about two weeks.