Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, Jan 26 (efe-epa).- The top communist leaders of Vietnam recalled Tuesday the country’s successful fight against the pandemic and the economic achievements of recent decades during their presentation speeches at the Communist Party’s 13th Congress in Hanoi.
Nguyen Phu Trong, the party’s Secretary-General, said that while the world has entered recession, with an average fall of 4 percent of GDP, Vietnam has grown by 2.91 percent. Trong spoke before 1,587 delegates who will meet until Feb. 2 at the National Convention Center to elect the country’s main leaders.
The leader said that thanks to the spirit of national solidarity, the government and the population’s “strong support,” the country “has controlled and prevented the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic in the community, minimized damages and losses and ensured social security and welfare.”
“Vietnam is recognized as a place that has shone in the implementation of a double objective: to successfully control and prevent the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery,” said Trong, who at 76 appears as a favorite to remain at the party’s helm.
Thanks to measures taken since the start of the pandemic, such as the closure of borders to tourism, and the effectiveness of its tracking, Vietnam has managed to control COVID-19, with 1,549 cases in total, including 35 deaths. It has registered 54 days without local contagion.
Trong has been secretary-general of the Party since 2011 as well as President of the Republic since 2018 and although he exceeds the age limit – 65 years – and a maximum of two terms, analysts assume the party will make an exception and nominate this scholar of Marxism for a third term.
His leadership in the last five years has been characterized by an energetic anti-corruption campaign against senior party officials and by a heavy hand against political dissidence as the country continued with its policy of economic reform and international trade.
The candidate profiled in recent months as his great rival is current Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who also spoke Tuesday in congress to congratulate himself on Vietnam’s economic successes in the last five years and its successful management of the pandemic.
Political leadership in Vietnam is based on four pillars: the Party’s general secretary – the most powerful figure – the prime minister, who heads the government; the President of the Republic, who has a more representative position; and the president of the National Assembly. EFE-EPA