Vietnam’s National Assembly has confirmed Vo Van Thuong as the country’s new president, in a reshuffle of the country’s top leadership amid a sweeping anti-corruption campaign.
In an extraordinary session on Thursday, legislators confirmed Thuong, 52, as president after the ruling Communist Party nominated him on Wednesday as the sole candidate.
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The presidency is largely a ceremonial role but is one of the top four political positions in Vietnam.
A total of 487 out of 488 deputies present at the National Assembly voted for Thuong, the state-run Viet Nam News reported.
Thuong’s appointment comes during a period of political upheaval in Vietnam, where the all-powerful Communist Party’s corruption purge is under way and factional fighting has seen several ministers fired.
The election follows the sudden dismissal in January of his predecessor, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who was blamed by the party for “violations and wrongdoing” by officials under his control.
The removal of Phuc as president was seen as a significant escalation of the country’s “blazing furnace” anti-corruption crackdown.
— Việt Nam News (@VietnamNewsVNS) March 2, 2023
In his first speech to the parliament as Vietnam’s new president, Thuong said he would “resolutely” continue the fight against corruption.
“(I will) strive to fulfil to the best of my abilities the responsibilities and missions entrusted by the party, state and the people,” the newly elected president said at a swearing-in ceremony, the Viet Nam News reported.
He also promised “to constantly study and follow President Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, morality and lifestyle,” the news outlet reported.
Thuong is the youngest member of the party’s Politburo, the country’s top decision-making body, but is considered a veteran of the party having begun his political career at university in communist youth organisations.
He is widely regarded as being close to the party’s General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, Vietnam’s most powerful figure, and the main architect of the party’s battle against corruption.