Vietnam’s legislature accepts the president’s resignation amid an anti-corruption campaign

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Vietnam's legislature accepts the president's resignation amid an anti-corruption campaign

State media claimed that Vietnam’s legislature authorized President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s resignation on Wednesday, amid a substantial escalation in the Southeast Asian nation’s anti-corruption drive.

State media said that acting president will be Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan. According to sources, a new president is expected to be elected during the May meeting of the National Assembly.

Tuesday, the Communist Party’s central committee said that Phuc, 68, had tendered his resignation after the governing Communist Party accused him of “violations and wrongdoings” by officials under his supervision during his tenure as prime minister.

The central party committee stated that Phuc was ultimately liable for the crimes perpetrated by several officials, including two deputy prime ministers and three ministries, during his tenure as prime minister from 2016 to 2021.

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The decision by the rubber-stamp National Assembly on Wednesday is mostly a formality, after the party’s Central Committee accepted Phuc’s resignation on Tuesday.

Reuters was unable to contact Phuc for comment.

The latest changes, according to some diplomats and international officials residing in Vietnam, might create uncertainty, which could have an effect on foreign investment.

Political stability has been a crucial factor in attracting international investment to Vietnam. As a result of Beijing’s COVID policy and U.S. trade concerns, the nation is positioned to be among the leading beneficiaries of global firms’ efforts to minimize their exposure to China.

John Marrett, senior analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit, stated, “The ousted state president was more business-oriented than many in the highest levels of government, but his forced departure should not be interpreted as a shift away from economic liberalisation and openness to foreign investment.”

Dominic Scrivens, founder and head of investment company Dragon Capital, stated that “the anti-corruption campaign has reached its zenith.”

A spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department expressed confidence that “the constructive momentum in our relationship” would continue. The United States is the major export market for Vietnam.

Phuc, who held the mostly ceremonial office of president since 2021, was also removed from the influential Politburo and the position of head of the national military and security council.

Officially, Vietnam is headed by four “pillars”: the party secretary, the president, the prime minister, and the speaker of the house.

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