Vietnam parliament chief, Vuong Dinh Hue, quits over ‘violations’ in latest leadership upheaval

The chairman of Vietnam’s parliament Vuong Dinh Hue has resigned over his “violations and shortcomings”, its government said on Friday, in a new sign of political turbulence just weeks after the high-profile dismissal of the country’s president.

The head of the assembly is among the four “pillars” of the leadership in Vietnam, which officially has no paramount ruler.

Hue, 67, had been touted as a possible candidate for the Communist Party secretary position, Vietnam’s most powerful job.

“Comrade Vuong Dinh Hue’s violations and shortcomings have caused negative public opinion, affecting the reputation of the Party, State and him personally,” the government’s website said, carrying a statement from the Communist Party’s Central Committee.

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The statement said his resignation had been accepted and would be removed from the Central Committee and the powerful Politburo. It did not specify what the violations were.

Hue was seen attending a ceremony earlier on Friday alongside the prime minister ahead of next week’s 49th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam war and the reunification of North and South Vietnam under communist rule.

His resignation comes just days after the announcement that his assistant had been arrested over alleged bribery involving an infrastructure company.

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Vietnamese property tycoon sentenced to death for US$12.5 billion fraud

Vietnamese property tycoon sentenced to death for US$12.5 billion fraud

‘Blazing furnace’

Under a years-long anti-corruption campaign, called “blazing furnace”, hundreds of senior state officials and high-profile business executives have been prosecuted or forced to step down.

The latest change among Vietnam’s top leadership could raise new concerns about political stability in the Southeast Asian manufacturing hub, which is highly reliant on foreign investment and trade.

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The departure of Hue, a trained economist and former deputy prime minister who previously served as chief state auditor, follows the dismissal in March of President Vo Van Thuong after the Communist Party said he had violated party rules.

Thuong was the second president to exit in just over a year, prompting multiple commentators to warn that the country’s appeal as an investment destination may be affected by prolonged infighting.

A survey of over 650 business leaders conducted by foreign chambers of commerce in Vietnam and published in March said foreign firms were attracted to the country mostly for its political stability.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) meets with Chairman of the National Assembly of Vietnam Vuong Dinh Hue at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on April 8. Photo: EPA-EFE/XINHUA

Hue had met Chinese President Xi Jinping on April 8 during a week-long visit to China and, while abroad, rumours spread in Vietnam that his assistant had been arrested. The detention was announced two weeks later.

Earlier in April, real estate tycoon Truong My Lan was sentenced to death for her role in a multibillion-dollar financial fraud, which had been going on for years with multiple senior officials turning a blind eye.

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