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Vietnam legislature plans to conduct first-ever online sitting amid COVID-19

Wednesday, April 15, 2020, 15:33 GMT+7
Vietnam legislature plans to conduct first-ever online sitting amid COVID-19
Lawmakers are seen at Vietnam's National Assembly House in this file photo.

Vietnam’s law-making National Assembly is planning to convene an online sitting in May during which deputies will be allowed to vote with mobile phones.

This will be the first time for the parliament to have had tele-sessions.

The first part of the ninth sitting of the legislature will be conducted via the Internet, Nguyen Hanh Phuc, Secretary General of the National Assembly, said in a document sent to lawmakers nationwide and obtained by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

This part is scheduled to start somewhere between May 20 and 25, and to last for a week.

Lawmakers will attend the online sitting in their province or city while around 165 deputies in Hanoi will join it at the National Assembly House.

In the first week, the legislature will discuss a planned agenda including the ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and policy and measures to contain novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The second part of the sitting is slated to take place for 7-10 days and will be dedicated to discussions on classified issues, law and resolution adoption, and closing.

Lawmakers will be permitted to cast their vote on mobile phones during the online preceedings.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the shutdown of schools, stores, and entertainment venues in Vietnam.

The country started practicing enhanced social distancing on March 1, in compliance with a directive given by the prime minister, with any gathering of more than two people banned in public spaces, people told to stay home, and a two-meter distance maintained in social interaction.

The directive is scheduled to expire on Wednesday, when the central government is expected to announce an extension of the social distancing duration, particularly in ‘high-risk’ cities and provinces.  

Vietnam has confirmed 267 COVID-19 cases in total, with 169 having recovered.

The country has yet to record a death in association with the disease.

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