Vietnam’s National Assembly approves removal of its leader

Vuong Dinh Hue was caught up in a bribery scandal.
By RFA Staff
2024.05.02
Vietnam’s National Assembly approves removal of its leader This photo taken on October 23, 2023 shows Vuong Dinh Hue, then-head of Vietnam's National Assembly, attending a National Assembly session in Hanoi.
STR/AFP

Vietnam’s National Assembly approved the removal of Vuong Dinh Hue as its chairman and delegate at an extraordinary meeting of its standing committee in Hanoi on Thursday, state media reported.

Hue was forced to resign by the Communist Party on April 26 after being accused of violating party regulations affecting the reputation of the Party and the state. Last month, his personal assistant Phan Thai Ha was arrested at the airport after returning from a five-day official trip to China with Hue, where they met with President Xi Jinping.

Ha, who had been Hue’s right-hand man for over two decades, was charged with “abusing his position and power to influence others for personal gain” for his ties to the Thuan An construction group, a small firm that won 38 of 47 public tenders for major infrastructure projects. Thuan An’s two top leaders have been arrested.

The National Assembly meeting has made no decision so far on appointing a new Vietnamese president.

In March, it approved the removal of Vo Van Thuong as president for the 2021-2026 term after just one year in office.

Thuong was forced to quit for his failure to exercise proper supervision over officials in Quang Ngai province during his tenure as provincial party secretary from 2011-2014.

The Politburo appointed Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan as acting president, her second time in the temporary job.

The president’s role is one of the top four political positions in Vietnam, along with general secretary, prime minister and chairman of the National Assembly. The general secretary of the Communist Party is the most powerful figure in the country.

The removal of the National Assembly leader is the latest move in the party’s “blazing furnace” anti-corruption campaign which has netted senior party officials and business leaders. It could raise new concerns about political stability in what is considered Southeast Asia’s manufacturing hub, which is heavily dependent on foreign investment and trade.

The National Assembly plans to hold a regular month-long session from May 20.

Edited by Mike Firn and Taejun Kang.

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