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100% of voters turn out at Vietnam’s Spratly early ballot: district authorities

Monday, May 16, 2016, 19:14 GMT+7

All registered voters on the island district of Truong Sa (Spratly), administered by the south-central province of Khanh Hoa, turned up to cast their votes in an early ballot on Sunday, one week before Vietnam holds a nationwide election to name new members of its legislative body.

The National Assembly is Vietnam’s legislature, whose 500 members are elected every five years via a national election.

The election of members of the 14th National Assembly, which will serve from 2016 to 2021, is scheduled for next Sunday, during which members of local-level People’s Councils will also be decided.

Flags and propaganda banners celebrating the vote reddened the streets, schools, and public offices on the islands of Vietnam’s Truong Sa early Sunday morning, one week ahead of the general election.

Lists of candidates running for seats in the country’s lawmaking National Assembly and local-level People’s Councils were posted on easily visible whiteboards at the 21 voting sites scattered along the three islands of the archipelago, namely Truong Sa Town, Sinh Ton Commune, and Song Tu Tay Commune.

The National Election Council had earlier made an exception to the island district of Truong Sa to organize voting one week prior to the general election due to its special geographical location.

At 6:30 am, the national anthem of Vietnam was played as locals attended a flag salutation ceremony in front of the sovereignty milestone on Song Tu Tay Islet, starting the voting day.

Voting began at 7:00 am sharp, as Senior Colonel Phan Tuan Hung, deputy commander and chief of staff of the Fourth Region Command, under the Vietnam People's Navy, cast the first vote, followed by locals on the islet.

According to the People’s Committee of Truong Sa District, 100 percent of registered voters had cast their ballots by 10:00 am.

Speaking with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, Ngo Truyen, director at the Khanh Hoa Province Department of Internal Affairs and permanent member of the provincial Election Council, said the voting sites remained open until 7:00 pm the same day for unregistered voters to cast their votes.

After the closing time, Truyen said, all ballot boxes were sealed and transported back to shore for counting after the national election ends next Sunday.

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Vietnamese naval officers load ballot boxes onto boats to be transported to voting sites in Truong Sa (Spratly) District, Khanh Hoa Province, on May 5, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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A speedboat transports delegates working on Song Tu Tay Islet, Truong Sa (Spratly) District, Khanh Hoa Province, to the voting site on May 15, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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Unregistered voters arrive at Song Tu Tay Islet, Truong Sa (Spratly) District, Khanh Hoa Province, on May 15, 2016 to cast their votes in the early ballot. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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The flag salutation ceremony on Song Tu Tay Islet, Truong Sa (Spratly) District, Khanh Hoa Province, prior to the early voting on May 15, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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Senior Colonel Phan Tuan Hung, deputy commander and chief of staff of the Fourth Region Command under the Vietnam People's Navy, casts the first vote in the early ballot on Song Tu Tay Islet, Truong Sa (Spratly) District, Khanh Hoa Province, on May 15, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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Voters queue up to cast their votes in the early ballot on Song Tu Tay Islet, Truong Sa (Spratly) District, Khanh Hoa Province, on May 15, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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