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Nguyen Quang A writes a comment on Facebook while sitting at a cafe after an interview in Hanoi, Vietnam

Nguyen Quang A writes a comment on Facebook while sitting at a cafe after an interview in Hanoi, Vietnam, March 1, 2016. REUTERS/Kham

REUTERS, HANOI | Former IT entrepreneur and banker Nguyen Quang A is running a disciplined campaign to be elected to Vietnam’s parliament, declaring his assets, securing voter endorsements and appearing in a slick online video.

He is not, however, a member of the Communist Party of Vietnam nor the kind of candidate that the monolithic ruling party wants in its rubber-stamp legislature.

Quang A is one of its biggest critics and among 19 dissidents trying to run as independents in a May election to the assembly, determined to test the sincerity of promises made by the party to strengthen democracy.

“They tell us we have rights and say the regime is democratic,” he said in an interview. “Let’s see them turn rhetoric into reality.”

To pique the Communists further, Quang A is waiting to see if party chief Nguyen Phu Trong will seek re-election to the National Assembly so that he can go head-to-head with him for his seat. Read More