Vietnam National Assembly head Vuong Dinh Hue resigns amid graft purge

Vuong Dinh Hue asked to step down because of “violations and shortcomings”, the party said in a statement on its website.

April 26, 2024 05:04 pm | Updated 05:04 pm IST - Hanoi

Vietnamese Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue has resigned. on April 26, 2024 He is the latest member of senior government to leave office amid an ongoing anti-corruption campaign.

Vietnamese Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue has resigned. on April 26, 2024 He is the latest member of senior government to leave office amid an ongoing anti-corruption campaign. | Photo Credit: AP

The head of Vietnam’s National Assembly has resigned, the ruling Communist Party said on April 26, one of the most senior leaders to fall in a sweeping anti-corruption purge.

Mr. Vuong Dinh Hue asked to step down because of “violations and shortcomings”, the party said in a statement on its website.

Thousands of people, including top officials and senior business leaders, have been caught up in the Southeast Asian country’s “blazing furnace” crackdown on graft.

“He violated regulations on what party members cannot do and regulations on the responsibility for setting an example for officials and party members,” the party statement said.

“Comrade Vuong Dinh Hue’s violations and shortcomings have caused bad public opinion, affecting the reputation of the Party, State and himself.”

Hue was one of Vietnam’s four most powerful leaders as head of the one-party state’s rubber-stamp national assembly.

Another, president Vo Van Thuong, was forced out last month after just a year in the job -- also for unspecified “violations and shortcomings”.

Hue’s resignation has been accepted by the party’s central committee but the National Assembly will have to hold a session to confirm the move.

According to an earlier announcement, the assembly will convene its regular summer sitting on May 20.

While the party statement gave no details of Hue’s transgressions, police on Monday made public the arrest of his assistant Pham Thai Ha for alleged “power abuse”.

Political turmoil

The 48-year-old Ha, who was also the National Assembly’s deputy office manager, was taken into custody as police expanded their probe into a case concerning the public infrastructure developer Thuan An group.

The group, established in 2004 with initial registered capital of only $150,000, saw that amount increase by 200 times in 2021, reaching $31.4 million, the government said in a report.

In recent years it has won several bidding contracts worth millions of dollars to build bridges and roads in several cities and provinces across Vietnam.

Seven people have been taken into custody in relation to the case, including state officials and the group’s bosses.

Vice president Vo Thi Anh Xuan is serving as acting president after Thuong’s resignation until a full-time replacement is chosen.

The political upheaval has pared Vietnam’s ruling politburo back from 18 members in early 2021 to just 13.

General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong -- Vietnam’s most powerful figure -- is regarded as the architect behind the anti-corruption drive, which has proved popular with the public.

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