Vietnam’s Communist Party convened for a grand conference on Monday with promises of improving personnel and providing a system that can be trusted by the people.
Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong said that the construction of a team of “strategic” officials was of special importance to the development of the Party and the political system.
“It will decide whether the revolution will succeed or fail,” he said in the opening speech of the seventh plenum of the 12th Central Committee of the Communist Party in Hanoi, which will wrap up on Saturday.
The key gathering, which is held twice a year, will discuss a personnel initiative that will cover all levels, including “strategic” officials who are defined as those who excel in management roles and political ethics.
The elite team will have 600 officials who are currently Party and government leaders at central and city/provincial levels. The cadre will serve as the foundation for building future terms of the Party’s 200-strong Central Committee, officials said.
Trong said that the majority of top ranking officials in Vietnam are performing their jobs well, but there are still “shortcomings and limitations.”
“The force of the political system is big, but not yet strong,” he said, adding that Vietnam still lacks competent people in leadership roles.
He said several high-rank officials have damaged their reputations and been caught up in corruption cases.
A number of officials have deliberately violated regulations, causing “serious” losses to the state.
He said strict handling of recent cases has served as an effective warning to prevent further misconduct.
Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of Vietnam’s Communist Party, at the Party’s Central Committee meeting on Monday. Photo courtesy of the Vietnam News Agency
Trong, 74, took office in 2011 and has been spearheading the country’s corruption crackdown for several years.
Many high-rank officials have been arrested and put on trial as major cases involving top military and police officials are pursued.
The crackdown’s biggest casualty so far is Dinh La Thang, who was fired from his post as Ho Chi Minh City’s Party chief in May last year and then dismissed from the then 19-member Politburo, the Party’s decision-making body.
At two trials this year, he received jail terms of 13 and 18 years for violations when he was chairman of state-owned PetroVietnam between 2006 and 2011, and is in court again to appeal the sentences.
Analysts expect a replacement for Thang to be discussed at the plenum, as well as for another former senior member Dinh The Huynh who retired early due to ill health.
Huynh, who was the de facto number two of the Communist Party, left his positions as executive secretary of the Party’s Secretariat and chairman of the Party’s Central Theoretical Council, both for the 2016-2021 term, in March. Both positions have been filled.
The new line-up of the Politburo will be among “the most important personnel issues” to be decided at the ongoing Party’s gathering, said Le Hong Hiep, a Vietnam analyst at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore, which studies social, political and economic trends in the region.
At a similar gathering last October, the Party fired Nguyen Xuan Anh, the top leader of Da Nang as punishment for misconduct. It also dismissed him from one of the country’s most powerful bodies, the Central Committee.
“The plenum is expected to make major personnel decisions that will generate important implications for Vietnam’s political prospects,” Hiep said in a post published on the institute’s website.
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