Personnel issue of 13th Party National Congress: Deadlock and crisis

The 12th plenum of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV)’s Central Committee started in Hanoi on the morning of May 11. The main content of this plenum is said to focus primarily on personnel issues for the 13th Party Congress scheduled to take place early next year.

This is considered to be the most important plenum before the 13th party’s National Congress to present the direction of the Central Committee’s personnel structure to the next term.

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The 12th plenum of the CPV’s Central Committee was opened in Hanoi on May 11.

General Secretary cum President Nguyen Phu Trong, made the opening speech, and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, on behalf of the Politburo, chaired the opening session.

The issues related to human resources were highlighted, including the personnel structure of the 13th Central Committee, the plan for the 15th National Assembly deputies and People’s Council deputies at all levels for the 2021-2026 term, number and allocation of delegates to the 13th Congress scheduled in January next year.

Mr. Trong said that in the present time, members of the Central Committee, members of the Secretariat and members of the Politburo should persist in the goal of national independence and nationalism, absolutely loyal to Marxism-Leninism, Ho Chi Minh’s thought, as well as the Party’s guidelines.

In addition, Trong also reminded that the members of the Party’s leading agencies mentioned above must not be corrupt, and do not have opportunities and ambition of power …

His article at the end of April related to the preparation of personnel for the 13th Party Congress was also circulated by the state media; many observers in the country think that the content of the incumbent general is nothing new, still dogmatic and conservative as ever.

The 12th plenum of the CPV’s Central Committee is expected to last until  May 14. And as usual, after the meeting of the Party Central Committee, next week from May 20, the 14th National Assembly of Vietnam will start its 9th one-month sitting.

The model of the power apparatus and high-ranking leadership personnel options just before and during the 12th Central Conference took place was a topic of concern among Vietnamese political observers and analysts.

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Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh is considered by some observers to be the brightest candidate for the position of President

Mr. Ha Hoang Hop, who also worked at the Institute of Southeast Asia, Iseas, Singapore as a senior researcher, commented: “In my opinion, there is nothing new because many people say about four-pillar leadership, not three pillars.”

Regarding the four candidates for the four highest posts, many told according to the Decision 90 and 214, Ms. Truong Thi Mai is difficult to be the chairwoman of the National Assembly.”

I said a few months ago that there is no candidate for the country’s president post, and the situation has not changed.”

Mr. Pham Binh Minh is eligible under Decision 214 to stand for the positions of president, prime minister and president of the National Assembly. He just does not qualify for the General Secretary. However, it seems that the presidency is quite suitable for him.”

Because Mr. Minh has already taken two ministerial tenures, he cannot continue as Foreign Minister. But running for president, with Minh in internal relations, may not be favorable.”

I said above that under Decision 214 (and 90), here about internal relations is about behavior, many people may not want to be so and want to be different, but so there is still a vice-premier in charge of foreign affairs for him, like in China, people have the position of Mr. Yang Jiechi, that is an arrangement ability.”

In my opinion, the most difficult thing is the general secretary, Mr. Trong introduced Mr. Nguyen Quoc Vuong twice, both were unsuccessful and the Politburo did not approve. Now there will be a meeting to reintroduce, that is, vote for a few candidates.”

It is true that at this time there are preliminary candidates of Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Tran Quoc Vuong and Pham Minh Chinh. There are a large number of people, but it is unclear what percentage, supports Mr. Phuc.”

Now Mr. Trong cannot state as before that the candidate for this position must be from the North. There is also a high percentage of people who feel, not sure how much, they want to support Ms. Ngan.”

But in a nutshell, the prediction is predictable, but in the end due to the nomination procedure has not happened, so it is unclear specifically.”

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Bright candidates for senior leadership positions for the 13th Congress

On April 21, Reuters news agency quoted the World Health Organization’s Director of the Western Pacific Region “The strong leadership of the Government and the cooperation of the people helped prevent the spread of the Covid-19 disease in Vietnam.”

Typical direct anti-pandemic leaders include Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Acting Minister of Health Vu Duc Dam and Hanoi Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung … So will these people have an advantage in the selection of new key personnel or not?

Dr. Nguyen Van Khai from Hanoi affirmed that the problem of the disease did not affect the Party Congress and the key personnel issue: “People have been arranged since last year, no one can change. It’s the same as the 13th or 14th Congress.”

According to journalist Nguyen Vu Binh, the “plus point” for those who direct anti-epidemic is negligible. He said: “If there is a plus point, that for the voting process, especially for the highest-level personnel, is not very significant. For the totalitarian regime, this factor did not have a great influence on the election of senior personnel. That is, it has many factors to select personnel, emerging as recently helped prevent if any, it is just more, not the main factor to decide.”

Scholar Do Thong Minh said that although Mr. Phuc and Mr. Dam are being well evaluated by the public opinion, the personnel issue is arranged by the authorities. He said: “In my opinion, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Mr. Vu Duc Dam are quite popular figures, although there are still shortcomings but it seems not too heavy. As for Mr. Nguyen Duc Chung, there is a family problem, backyard business, and Dong Tam case … so Mr. Chung is a bit difficult. As for the personnel arranged by the party’s authority, I say. ”

There are comments that it is appearing a deadlock and crisis of the leadership of the Communist Party before the 13th Congress.

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20 military generals and police were disciplined or imprisoned during Mr. Trong’s campaign of burning until September 2019

Author Viet Hoang said: The 13th Congress of the party is approaching but through the press monitoring, we can see their collective impasse. Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong, probably because of poor health, made very few appearances. Even people did not see him in the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, when Trong appeared rare, the only problem he was interested in was the personnel issue for the 13th Party Congress. Of course that is because for any political organization, the two issues of “political ideology” (guidelines) and “personnel personnel” are always the most important.

When the ideology of the party line has stagnated, personnel will be in crisis because any political party can only unite with one another when sharing a political thought. A political organization without political ideology written into a political platform has no reason to exist. Marxism-Leninism is dead. The Communist Party is completely ideologically naked, so they are only tied together by interests. But material rights they are always divisive instead of being united in organizations. When money was the only thing to unite the members, the Communist Party had turned into a mafia organization rather than a political organization.

General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong is the highest leader with continuous party seniority, more than 20 years as Politburo Member, holding many important positions such as Hanoi Party Committee secretary, chairman of the National Assembly, general secretary of the 11th term (2011-2016) and the current 12th term cum President from 2017 till now … Greatest with survival mode.

He has also launched a powerful anti-corruption campaign, also known as the “burning work” over the past few years. However, observers of the situation in Vietnam say that it is just a “burning” – fighting of the faction that Trong is trying to consolidate his power, not to clean the regime.

Nguyen Gia Kieng from the Coalition of Plural Democracy argued that the 13th Party Congress is a turning point for the Communist Party of Vietnam. Because, starting from the 13th Party Congress, the party is not a political party of the Vietnamese people, nor a political party of 5 million members too. Mr. Nguyen Gia Kieng emphasized, “It is only an agency in the ruling apparatus of a group of people around Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong.” (Translated)

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