Vietnam elects Vo Van Thuong as country’s new president

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Mar 2 (EFE) .- Vietnam’s National Assembly elected Vo Van Thuong as the country’s new president Thursday, after the resignation in January of his predecessor due to corrupt practices that occurred under his tenure, the government reported.

Thuong, nominated the day before by the Central Committee of the Communist Party, is at 52 the youngest member of the Politburo – the highest ruling body of the party – and is perceived by experts as a man close to the organization’s secretary general, the veteran Nguyen Phu Trong, 79.

Since the resignation of Nguyen Xuan Phuc as president on Jan. 17, the interim president had been the until then-Vice President Vo Thi An Xuan, expected to recover her position with the appointment of the new head of state.

In a ceremony at the Vietnamese National Assembly, meeting in extraordinary session, Thuong pledged his “absolute loyalty” to the Vietnamese constitution in the exercise of his new position. This gives him the highest representation of the state inside and outside of Vietnam and the command of the armed forces, the government said in a statement.

Thuong did not start as a favorite in the analyst pools after Phuc’s resignation in January, but in recent weeks his name had gained strength due to his youth and for being perceived as close to Trong, the most powerful man in the party and in Vietnam in the last decade.

Thuong’s appointment is interpreted as a reinforcement of Trong, who at the Party Congress held two years ago was unable to place any of his closest collaborators as head of state.

The presidency then fell to Phuc, who arrived with the band of his good work as prime minister in managing the Covid-19 pandemic and who two years later had to resign due to the involvement of senior officials in his cabinet in a scandal of bribes.

His resignation is part of the unprecedented anti-corruption campaign led by Trong for seven years and which has swept away high-ranking political and business officials.

Although the country’s presidency is a position with less power than that of the general secretary of the Communist Party or the prime minister, it places Thuong in the front line of a possible succession of Trong as head of the party in the Congress scheduled for 2026. This would facilitate the continuity of the campaign against corruption. EFE


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