June 24th, 2024

Vietnam nominates its public securities minister as new president

By Aniruddha Ghosal, The Associated Press on May 18, 2024.

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) – Vietnam has nominated its Public Security Minister To Lam as its new president, state media said on Saturday, after his predecessor resigned in the ongoing anti-corruption campaign that has shaken up the country’s political establishment.

The Communist Party’s Central Committee had agreed to the nomination of To Lam, a Politburo member, as president, state-run Vietnam News Agency reported. The nomination will likely be approved by Vietnam’s rubber-stamp National Assembly during its next session on Monday.

Former President Vo Van Thuong resigned in March after a little over a year in the position. His predecessor had also resigned in 2023 while taking “political responsibility” for corruption scandals during the pandemic.

The anti-graft campaign is being led by Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, 79, an ideologue who views graft as the gravest threat facing the party. The country’s most powerful politician has vowed that no one is untouchable in the so-called “blazing furnace” campaign.

Lam, who has spent over four decades in the Ministry of Public Security before becoming the minister in 2016, has been a key figure in the execution of anti-corruption measures.

The most recent high-profile resignation linked to the campaign was that of Vietnam’s Parliament head, Vuong Dinh Hue, in April. The current vice-speaker, Tran Thanh Man, has been appointed as Hue’s replacement.

The president and the head of Vietnam’s Parliament are among the top four political positions in the party and the resignations point to instability that analysts say could threaten Vietnam’s ambitions as it vies to become an alternative to China in the region’s supply chains.

Analysts say that rivals in the party were jostling to position themselves as a successor to Trong, who was elected to an unprecedented third term as party chief in 2021. Given his age, experts say that it is unlikely that he will continue for another term.

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