Vietnam holds parliamentary elections

Vietnam is holding elections for its National Assembly on Sunday. Attention is focused on how many independent candidates will be elected.

A total of 866 candidates are competing for 500 seats. The elections take place every five years.

Voting started on Sunday morning in most areas.

Coronavirus infections have been resurging in the country since late last month. Voters wore masks, disinfected their hands and had their temperatures checked before casting ballots.

At a polling station in the capital, Hanoi, Communist Party leader General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong said voters should fulfill their duties and elect the most suitable candidates.

Under the country's one-party rule, candidates must pass mandatory screening to run.

Of the nine independent candidates, one is openly gay who aims to expand the rights of sexual minorities.

The Communist government appears to be trying to ease discontent with one-party rule by approving candidates with diverse backgrounds.