Vietnam’s president resigns


HANOI, Vietnam — Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong resigned after a little over a year in the position, the Communist Party said Wednesday, making him the latest senior official to leave office after likely being implicated in an intense anti-corruption campaign.

The party said it had accepted his resignation, writing in a statement that “violations by Vo Van Thuong have left a bad mark on the reputation of the Communist party.”

Thuong is the second president to resign in two years, something analysts called a worrying sign for political stability in a country that plays a key role in the middle of U.S.-China competition and a growing one in global manufacturing.

His resignation came after weeks of rumors suggesting that he would be removed from office, and on the eve of a special session of Vietnam’s parliament dedicated to “personnel matters.”

Days earlier, Vietnamese police said they arrested the former head of Central Vietnam’s Quang Ngai province for corruption. He was previously supervised by Thuong as the provincial party chief.

Thuong, 54, became president in March 2023, two months after his predecessor Nguyen Xuan Phuc resigned to take “political responsibility” for corruption scandals during the pandemic. He was the youngest president since modern day Vietnam emerged from war in the mid-1970s.

Ceremonial role

The position of president in Vietnam is largely ceremonial and ranks third in the country’s political hierarchy. The most powerful position is that of Communist Party general secretary, a post held since 2011 by Nguyen Phu Trong, who is 79.

The ideologically conservative Thuong was considered Trong’s protege, and his departure underscores the reach of the anti-corruption drive that has been Trong’s “most important legacy,” said Nguyen Khac Giang, an analyst at Singapore’s ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.

Truong’s “violations” had “negatively affected public perception, as well as the reputation of the Party and the state. Being aware of his responsibilities before the Party, the state and the people, Thuong has sent his resignation from his positions,” a party statement reported by state media VN Express International said. / AP


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