Sunday, 29 January, 2023

Vietnam parliament approves president's resignation

Vietnam parliament approves president's resignation

HANOI: Vietnam's rubber stamp National Assembly on Wednesday approved the resignation of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, a day after he dramatically stepped down as part of an anti-corruption drive, reports AFP.

His sudden and unprecedented departure comes during a period of significant political upheaval in Vietnam, where the anti-graft purge and factional fighting has seen several ministers fired.

In an extraordinary meeting that was closed to international media, more than 93 percent of National Assembly members voted to approve Phuc's resignation, state media said.

With no successor yet appointed, Vo Thi Anh Xuan, the current vice president, automatically becomes interim president, according to the constitution.

Authoritarian Vietnam is run by the Communist Party and officially led by the general secretary -- the most powerful position in the party -- the president, and prime minister.

Key decisions are made by the politburo, which now numbers 16.

The sudden departure of Phuc is a highly unusual move in Vietnam, where political changes are normally carefully orchestrated, with an emphasis on cautious stability.

Only one other Communist Party president has ever stepped down, and that was for health reasons.

On Tuesday the Communist Party ruled the 68-year-old was responsible for wrongdoing by senior ministers under him during his 2016-2021 stint as prime minister, before he became president.

Two deputy prime ministers -- Pham Binh Minh and Vu Duc Dam -- were sacked this month in an anti-corruption purge that has led to the arrest of dozens of officials, with many of the graft allegations relating to deals done as part of Vietnam's Covid pandemic response.