Vietnam nominates its public security minister as new president

To Lam’s nomination will likely be approved by Vietnam’s National Assembly during its next session on May Monday

Published - May 19, 2024 02:06 am IST - HANOI, Vietnam

Vietnam’s Public Security Minister To Lam. File

Vietnam’s Public Security Minister To Lam. File | Photo Credit: AFP

Vietnam has nominated its Public Security Minister To Lam as its new president, state media said on May 18, after his predecessor resigned in the ongoing anti-corruption campaign that has shaken up the country’s political establishment.

The Communist Party's Central Committee had agreed to the nomination of To Lam, a Politburo member, as President, state-run Vietnam News Agency reported. The nomination will likely be approved by Vietnam’s National Assembly during its next session on May 21.

Former President Vo Van Thuong resigned in March after a little over a year in the position. His predecessor had also resigned in 2023 while taking “political responsibility” for corruption scandals during the pandemic.

The anti-graft campaign is being led by Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, 79, an ideologue who views graft as the gravest threat facing the party. The country's most powerful politician has vowed that no one is untouchable in the so-called “blazing furnace” campaign.

Mr. Lam, who spent over four decades in the Ministry of Public Security before becoming the Minister in 2016, has been a key figure in the execution of anti-corruption measures.

The most recent high-profile resignation linked to the campaign was that of Vietnam’s Parliament head, Vuong Dinh Hue, in April. The current vice-speaker, Tran Thanh Man, has been appointed as Mr. Hue's replacement.

Political instability can threaten economic ambitions, fear experts

The president and the head of Vietnam's Parliament are among the top four political positions in the party and the resignations point to instability that analysts say could threaten Vietnam’s ambitions as it vies to become an alternative to China in the region’s supply chains.

Analysts say that rivals in the party were jostling to position themselves as a successor to Mr. Trong, who was elected to an unprecedented third term as party chief in 2021. Given his age, experts say that it is unlikely that he will continue for another term.

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