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Vietnam’s president resigns, raising questions over stability

Hanoi, Vietnam Reuters —

The Vietnamese Communist Party has accepted the resignation of President Vo Van Thuong, the government said on Wednesday, in a sign of political turmoil that could hurt foreign investors’ confidence in the country.

The government said in a statement that Thuong had violated party rules, adding that those “shortcomings had negatively impacted public opinion, affecting the reputation of the Party, State and him personally.”

The Central Party Committee, a top decision-making body in Communist Party-ruled Vietnam, approved Thuong’s resignation just about a year after his election.

The president holds a largely ceremonial role but is one of the top four political positions in the Southeast Asian nation.

Calls to the presidential office on Wedensday went unanswered.

The committee’s meeting preceded an extraordinary session of Vietnam’s rubber-stamping parliament scheduled on Thursday, when deputies are expected to confirm the party’s decisions.

The government statement did not elaborate on Thuong’s shortcomings, but major leadership changes in the one-party state have recently been all linked to the wide-ranging “blazing furnace” anti-bribery campaign. It is aimed at stamping out widespread corruption but is also suspected by critics to be a tool for political infighting.

Vo Van Thuong, center, swears in as the president at the National Assembly in Hanoi, Vietnam Thursday, March 2, 2023. Vietnam's legislative has approved Thuong to the presidency post, two months after former president Nguyen Xuan Phuc stepped down. (Nhan Huu Sang/VNA via AP)

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