Vietnam's President resigns after just over a year in office

Wednesday, March 20, 2024
 – Vietnam's President, Vo Van Thuong, has resigned after just one year in office.

The Vietnamese Communist Party accepted the resignation of President Vo Van Thuong, the government said on Wednesday, March 20.

The government said in a statement that Thuong had violated party rules, adding that those "shortcomings had negatively impacted public opinion, affecting the reputation of the Party, State and him personally".

The Central Party Committee, a top decision-making body in Communist Party-ruled Vietnam, approved Thuong’s resignation just about a year after his election.

The president holds a largely ceremonial role but is one of the top four political positions in the Southeast Asian nation.

The committee’s meeting preceded an extraordinary session of Vietnam’s rubber-stamping parliament scheduled on Thursday when deputies are expected to confirm the party’s decisions.

The government statement did not elaborate on Thuong’s shortcomings, but major leadership changes in the one-party state have recently been all linked to the wide-ranging anti-bribery campaign. It is aimed at stamping out widespread corruption but is also suspected by critics to be a tool for political infighting.

Foreign investors and diplomats have repeatedly blamed the campaign for slowing down decisions in a country which is already grappling with cumbersome bureaucracy.

Thuong, 53, quit days after Vietnamese police announced the arrest for alleged corruption a decade ago of a former head of central Vietnam’s Quang Ngai province, who served while Thuong was party chief there.

He had also been a senior party official of economic hub Ho Chi Minh City, which has been rocked by a multi-billion-dollar long-running financial scam, for which a large trial is currently underway.

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