Home News Vietnam power struggle sees third president in less than two years

Vietnam power struggle sees third president in less than two years

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A powerful security official was named Vietnam’s president on Wednesday, the third person to hold the post in less than 18 months. Strive to welcome the change of generations In terms of leadership.

At a special session of parliament, lawmakers approved the appointment of Public Security Minister To Lam, 66, who was nominated as president by the Communist Party of Vietnam at the weekend.

Lawmakers on Monday approved the nomination of 61-year-old Tran Thanh Man as speaker of the National Assembly. Both articles are group of four Manage Vietnam. (The other two are party general secretary (effectively the highest position) and prime minister.)

Therefore, both Carrie Lam and Moon Jae-in are likely to replace Nguyen Phu Trong, who has served as general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam for the past 13 years. After being re-elected in 2021, 80-year-old Nguyen Phu Trong is about to usher in an unprecedented third five-year term. The succession vacuum has led to a fierce power struggle in Vietnam – once known for its stable and scripted politics – ahead of the next leadership change in 2026.

Analysts say Lam has an advantage over Mr Moon in winning the leadership race. He has implemented an anti-corruption campaign pioneered by Mr Nguyen Phu Trong that has dramatically expanded in scope and scale in recent years. Many officials, including Lam and Mr Moon’s predecessor, have been brought down under the guise of the so-called “crucible” campaign. Lam also presided over a A sweeping crackdown on civil society and was accused of participating in High-profile kidnapping cases In 2017, a former Vietnamese provincial official from Berlin.

On Tuesday, the Legislative Council voted to remove Carrie Lam as public security minister. Whether he can be promoted to party general secretary remains to be seen.

“His background as public security minister gives him a lot of power, but it can also hinder him because many people are afraid of him,” said Le Hong, a senior fellow on Vietnam at Singapore’s Yusof Issa Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Hiep) said. “If he becomes party leader, there are already concerns that he might use the security apparatus to turn Vietnam into a police state.”

In March, General Lan’s predecessor Vo Van Shang Only one year after resigning After taking office. He was found to have violated party membership rules, but officials did not specify what those rules were. His predecessor Nguyen Xuan Phuc also resigned suddenly in January 2023 due to similar circumstances.

In addition to the two former presidents, the speaker of parliament and two deputy prime ministers have also stepped down in recent years over what the party says are misconduct. Six members of the Politburo, China’s top decision-making body, have been removed since 2022. On Thursday, the party appointed four new members of the Politburo.

Mr Moon’s predecessor as Speaker of Parliament Vuong Dinh Hue Resigned last month After the Central Supervisory Commission found that he violated the regulations governing Communist Party membership.

In 2021, General Lim received huge criticism in Vietnam after a video of him eating a steak covered in 24-karat gold flakes at a London restaurant went viral. At that time, Vietnam was in the Strict lockdown during the epidemic, a meal costs up to US$1,150, about six times the monthly income of an average Vietnamese worker. Last year, a Vietnamese activist imitated the meal in a video and was banned Sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of more than five years Imprisoned for “conducting anti-state propaganda.”

During Wednesday’s swearing-in ceremony, General Lin He said it is a great honor and responsibility to hold this position. He promised to follow “the policies and guidelines set by the party.”

Corruption is rife in Vietnam – according to Transparency International’s Corruption Index, Vietnam ranks 83rd out of 180 countries, below China and Cuba. Worried that corruption would undermine the party’s legitimacy, Trong launched an anti-corruption campaign in 2016 and vowed to root out “bad roots” and purify the party.

But analysts question whether some of the goals are political purges, especially in an opaque system. Foreign investors also complain that the anti-corruption campaign has slowed decision-making as officials hesitate to approve projects or issue business licenses for fear of being implicated in corruption investigations.

Despite the upheaval, foreign investors have not given up on Vietnam. Vietnam has emerged as an important global manufacturing hub in recent years as multinational companies seek alternatives to China. From January to April this year, foreign direct investment in Vietnam increased by 7.4% compared with last year, reaching US$6.3 billion. The country’s benchmark stock index has risen about 13% this year, making it Southeast Asia’s best-performing index, according to Bloomberg data.

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