Political instability forces second president to resign in Vietnam in 2 years

Vietnam’s government has announced the resignation of its second president within two years amidst an ongoing anti-corruption campaign, raising concerns regarding the country’s political stability. President Vo Van Thuong’s alleged misconduct, as reported by state media citing the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, has led to negative public perception and tarnished the party and state’s reputation. Specific details of the alleged violations were not disclosed.

Thuong served as president for just over a year, second Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who was compelled to step down due to corruption scandals involving officials under his administration. This crackdown on corruption, dubbed the “blazing furnace” by Vietnam’s leader Nguyen Phu Trong, has implicated numerous officials, ranging from high-ranking figures to low-level bureaucrats.

Although the presidency in Vietnam is mainly symbolic and ranks third in the political hierarchy, such rapid turnover among high-level officials is uncommon and has raised concerns among potential investors about the country’s stability. The postponement of a state visit by the Dutch royal family and a planned visit by the World Bank president due to “domestic circumstances” further fueled speculation of political changes.

The resignation of Thuong, who at 54 was the youngest president in Vietnam’s history, underscores the continuation of the anti-corruption campaign and raises uncertainties about the country’s political trajectory. This situation may exacerbate bureaucratic paralysis, as many officials refrain from taking action to avoid making mistakes amid the crackdown.

Vietnam’s parliament has approved Thuong’s resignation in a closed session, with discussions underway regarding his replacement. The departure of Thuong, previously considered a potential leadership contender due to his close ties to General Secretary Trong, leaves questions about Vietnam’s future leadership, particularly with the next National Congress scheduled for 2026.

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