Vietnam president steps down amid Covid-19 bribery scandal

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, 17 Jan (EFE).- Vietnam’s president Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Tuesday resigned as the country’s president and from his senior roles in the ruling Communist Party amid a bribery scandal.

Phuc, 69, is the first Vietnamese president to leave office before the end of his five-year term, which began just two years ago after serving as prime minister between 2016-2021.

Phuc lodged his request to resign as president amid allegations senior officials in his office accepted bribes during the Covid-19 pandemic, state media reported.

As a result of the party committee’s probe into the corruption allegations, some of Phuc’s closest allies, including former deputy prime ministers Pham Minh Binh and Vu Duc Dam, have also resigned from their posts.

Multiple officials have been accused of repatriating nationals and bringing foreign workers to Vietnam illegally at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic between 2020-2022, when Hanoi had shuttered its borders.

Phuc’s resignation was accepted at an extraordinary committee meeting on Tuesday and will be voted on during a parliamentary session slated for Wednesday, state media added.

The resignations have paved the way for party chief Nguyen Phu Trong to further cement his political power.

Vice-president Vo Thi Anh Xuan will become interim president until the National Assembly votes on a new leader. EFE


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