Official ceremonies were held at 7 am on May 22 at 91,438 polling stations throughout the country to start the voting to elect deputies to the 13 th National Assembly and People’s Councils at all levels for the 2011-2016 term.

This is the first time the elections for deputies to the National Assembly and People’s Councils at all levels have taken place at the same time, during which over 63 million voters will elect 500 NA deputies and 301,954 People’s Council members.

The elections will serve the building, strengthening and perfecting a socialist law-governed state of the people, by the people and for the people.

Therefore, the selection and election of deputies who have both virtue and talent to represent people’s will, aspirations and their right to mastery are a central task of the Party, the entire population and the army in 2011.

The general elections will wrap up at 19 pm on the same day.

Of the 827 candidates to the 13 th National Assembly, there are 260 female candidates (or 31.44 percent), 133 ethnic minority candidates (16.08 percent), 118 non-Party candidates (14.27 percent). The number of under-40 candidates is 183 or 22.13 percent and self-nominated candidates, 15 or 1.81 percent.

In term of education, 304 candidates (36.76 percent) hold postgraduate degrees and 492 candidates (59.49 percent) are university graduates.

Of the 5,965 candidates to People’s Councils at provincial level, 2,052 are women, representing 34.4 percent; 1,146 are ethnic minority, 19.21 percent; 1,211 are under 40 years old, 20.3 percent and 872 are non-Party people, 14.62 percent.

There are 25 self-nominated candidates in 14 cities and provinces.

The electorate will choose 3,832 deputies for People’s Councils at provincial level. /.