For the first time in history of Vietnam’s parliament election, a candidate openly admits his homosexuality

Self-nominated candidate for Vietnam’s highest legislative body National Assembly Luong The Huy and personal introduction 

Candidate Luong The Huy has just created a shock (big or small, but it’s really a shock) in the election process of the Vietnamese highest legislative body National Assembly in Vietnam. He is a Saigonese, currently working and living in Hanoi, and is the leader of the NGO iSEE which specializes in supporting ethnic minority communities.

The shock was that Luong The Huy declared himself a gay man, and was the only self-nominated person in Hanoi eligible to be included in the candidate list.

There are 9 self-nominated candidates for the country’s parliament in the election scheduled on May 23. They included  Hoang Van Cuong – vice-rector of National Economics University and Nguyen Anh Tri- president of Vietnam Association of Hematology and Blood Transfusion from Hanoi, Ung Thi Xuan Huong – deputy head of Research and Training Division, Vietnam Lawyers Association and Truong Trong Nghia- vice chairman of Ho Chi Minh City Bar Association from Saigon, and Nguyen Thien Thuc, executive director of Thanh Phuc Vocational Training Center from Can Tho, Nguyen Kim Hung- acting director of Vietnam Institute of Business Administration Science and Digital Economy from Bac Can, Khuong Thi Mai- CEO of Namsung Aluminum Vietnam Co., Ltd. From Nam Dinh, and Tran Khac Tam- chairman of Soc Trang Enterprise Association.

Ung Thi Xuan Huong, Nguyen Thien Thuc, Nguyen Kim Hung, Tran Khac Tam, and Khuong Thi Mai rarely appear in the media, the rest have illustrious backgrounds in their careers. they are very familiar in the media. In which, there are 3 people who are currently members of the current National Assembly (Mr. Cuong, Mr. Tri, Mr. Nghia) and one person is a member of the National Assembly of the 13th term, ten years ago.

How is Luong The Huy’s ability to be elected when he is young and has less experience in politics?

First, the strength of Luong The Huy is “strange.”

The strangest thing is, of course, the point of publicly being gay.

With the proportion of LGBTQI + people accounting for 0.06-0.15% of the population (according to a study by CARE organization) … in the Vietnamese population, it can be said that in any large organization, there are LGBTQI + people. But it is implicit LGBTQI +, who do not disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity at all, or only open to a very limited number of people. Therefore, their presence in elected organizations does not mean a voice to protect the interests of a minority community.

Vietnam can be considered as one of the countries with very rapid progress in social awareness towards LGBT. Compared to a decade ago, society has understood, opened up, and accepted these minority communities much more. However, there are basic human rights of LGBT people that are not yet recognized, such as the right to same-sex marriage and the right to be recognized by law as transgender.

Only when being protected by the legal foundation can LGBT people be more equal in terms of opportunities to study, work, get married, have children and inherit property, etc., and reduce stigma.

An elected delegate affirmed that one of his comprehensive action plans would be the best mediator to help the stigmatist and the stigmatized faction better understand each other, thereby promoting the building law to protect the interests of the LGBT community.

The second strength of Luong The Huy includes a series of other factors: young, outside the Party, postgraduate, working outside both the state sector and enterprises, having experience working in an international environment.

Young” (under 40 years old) and “outside the Party” are two factors that determine the proportion of deputies in elected organizations. The remaining significant structural factors are women / private sector / ethnic minorities …

Resolutions of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly emphasize that the set structural ratios above must be achieved. For example, the proportion of non-Party members is expected at 5% -10% (ie about 25-50 delegates); The proportion of deputies in the two levels of People’s Council and National Assembly is at least 35%; The proportion of deputies who are ethnic minorities is at least 18%; young people (under 40 years old) 10% (50 people) …

In the previous term, the proportion of deputies who were non-Party members was lower than the structure, so it was required to be raised in this term.

Luong The Huy got both of what these elected organizations needed. His first victory – the only person in Hanoi eligible for inclusion on the City Council candidate list may be a confirmation of this.

In terms of expertise to take on the job of an elected delegate, Luong The Huy is also very strong: a master of law graduated in the US, many years working in the community in the role of research and social promotion. working in the international environment. He was a representative of Vietnam speaking at the meeting of the UN Human Rights Council taking place in Switzerland and is one of the 30 faces of Forbes Vietnam 30 Under 30 in 2016.

Many young people (outside of the LGBT community) were inspired by this action. They hope in a member who has very contemporary qualities, close to them, to be able to bring their generation’s voice into the parliament. Luong The Huy’s Facebook page has a lot of words from young people calling on friends and family to support him.

However, Huy’s strength is also seen as a weakness in the eyes of some people.

It is very funny that the criticism comes from both the “red flag” and the “yellow flag” faction.

Yellow Flag” is based on his absolute 100% consensus in two negotiation rounds at his residence and work, along with a high consensus in the 3rd round of negotiation (Hanoi Fatherland Front ), to suspect that he was a “red seed” and “arranged for self-nomination” to include in the parliament just to serve for the interests of a certain political group.

Some people in the “Red Flag” faction frowned at the resume of a Master of Laws degree in the US and some of the policy and social critics that Mr. Huy used to write on his personal page. They also took the fact that Mr. Huy used to call himself “little Wii“, or his job as TikTok instructed couples to fall in love (or have an agreement) about sending each other’s “hot” photos. safe … to conclude that he has a moral problem.

There are no “flags” indicating the bad points and weaknesses of Mr. Huy in his professional or private life. All are just inference and conclusions!

Monitoring social reactions, so far the vast majority of public opinion is defending Luong The Huy and excited by this new factor. Luong The Huy’s social network is very broad: LGBT members have become key faces in community groups and their families, NGOs, law school peers, and educators. The progressive newspaper … all support him and are very hopeful in the election results.

However, the electoral viewpoint in Vietnam is not the same as that in the US. Although he fully meets the candidate’s conditions and promises to be a first-class member if he is elected, Luong The Huy can also fail without knowing why. “The bad guys” often murmur that the party already determined who will win in the upcoming election.

But, whatever the end result and what happens, Luong The Huy’s candidacy will be worth watching and discussing this election in Vietnam. (Translated)


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