Vietnam taps 2 new deputy prime ministers

Tran Hong Ha and Tran Luu Quang replace officials whose tenure was marred by bribery scandals.
By RFA Staff
2023.01.05
Vietnam taps 2 new deputy prime ministers Vietnam's National Resources and Environment Minister Tran Hong Ha [center] and another official have been elevated to deputy prime minister.
Credit: Reuters

Vietnam’s National Assembly elevated two party officials to the position of deputy prime minister on Thursday after dismissing their predecessors, whose tenures were marred by bribery scandals.

Tran Hong Ha and Tran Luu Quang's terms last until 2026. Tran Hong Ha, who was born in Ha Tinh province in central Vietnam in 1963, had been Vietnam’s minister for natural resources and the environment.

Tran Luu Quang, born in 1967 in Tay Ninh province, near Ho Chi Minh City, was the head of the Haiphong Provincial Communist Party and has served various positions in the assembly.

They replace Pham Binh Minh and Vu Duc Dam. On Jan. 2, RFA reported that Vietnam’s Communist Party had removed the two from its Central Committee, a move that is usually followed by their loss of their government posts. 

The assembly approved their resignations on Thursday. Bloomberg News reported that the two were the most senior officials to be removed from their posts in Vietnam since 2017.

Party officials did not give a reason for their removal, but the dismissals come at a time when the Vietnamese government is immersed in a well-publicized anti-corruption campaign. 

Vu Duc Dam’s tenure included a bribery scandal involving the sale of substandard COVID-19 test kits to hospitals.

Pham Binh Minh, meanwhile, faced criticism for another bribery scandal, this one involving payments to repatriate citizens stranded abroad during the pandemic. He is a well-known figure outside of Vietnam, due to his years serving as the country’s foreign minister.

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