Head of Vietnam’s parliament resigns amid corruption crackdown

The top lawmaker in Vietnam has been forced to step down as the country’s anticorruption drive gathers pace.

Vuong Dinh Hue is seen here meeting Brazil's Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi in Brazil, in his then-capacity as deputy prime minister [File: Adriano Machado/Reuters]

The head of Vietnam’s parliament has resigned over unspecified “violations and shortcomings”, the ruling Communist Party has said, as a major anticorruption campaign in the Southeast Asian country continues.

The party’s Central Committee held an extraordinary session on Friday and approved the resignation of Vuong Dinh Hue as the chairman of the 15th National Assembly, according to state media outlet VnExpress.

“Comrade Vuong Dinh Hue’s violations and shortcomings have caused negative public opinion, affecting the reputation of the party, state and him personally,” the committee said in a statement.

There was no immediate announcement about his replacement.

Pham Thai Ha, the deputy head of the office of the National Assembly and assistant to Hue, was arrested four days back, VnExpress reported.

Hue, a 67-year-old top lawmaker who rose to the chairmanship of the parliament in March 2021, has been a longtime figure in Vietnamese politics, also serving as deputy prime minister from 2016 to 2020.

He had been touted as a possible candidate for the Communist Party secretary position, Vietnam’s most powerful job. His position as head of the assembly was one of four posts described as “pillars” of the state leadership.

The party said Hue’s resignation had been accepted and he would be removed from the Central Committee and the powerful Politburo.

The resignation comes amid a large-scale ongoing anticorruption drive, called “blazing furnace”, that started in 2016 and has picked up pace since 2022. It has taken down two presidents and two prime ministers, and has seen hundreds of officials disciplined or jailed.

Vietnam’s top soft drinks tycoon, Tran Qui Thanh, was jailed for eight years on Thursday in a $40m fraud case.

Earlier this month, a court in Vietnam sentenced property tycoon Truong My Lan to death for her role in a $12.5bn financial fraud case that had seen the illegal control of Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank for a decade.

Vietnam’s former President Vo Van Thuong had been forced to resign in March, just over a year after taking office after what officials branded “violations and shortcomings”.

Source: News Agencies