Vietnamese politics “shaken” as Politburo member Nguyen Van Binh disciplined

The disciplinary agency of the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam has just asked the Politburo to consider disciplining Mr. Nguyen Van Binh, Politburo member and head of the Central Economic Commission, for “serious” violations when he was still the governor of the State Bank for the 2011-2016 period.

The Central Inspection Commission has just released a statement saying they have considered the results of the examination and verified the contents of the reflection relating to Mr. Binh, who is also a secretary of the Party Central Committee.

Mr. Nguyen Van Binh, head of Central Economic Commission, former governor of the State Bank for the 2011-2016 period

The Central Inspection Commission concluded:

During his time as a member of the Party Central Committee and the secretary of the bank’s Party Committee cum the governor of the State Bank, Mr. Nguyen Van Binh violated the principle of democratic centralization and working regulations, lack of leadership responsibility as well as inspection and supervision, allowing many violations and shortcomings in the issuance and implementation of a number of resolutions, regulations, and decisions on bank credit activities and causing very serious consequences, difficult to overcome; many officials and members of the State Bank and key leaders of a number of credit institutions who violate the law are penalized.

The violations and shortcomings of comrade Nguyen Van Binh are serious, causing frustration in society, adversely affecting the prestige of the party organization, the State Bank, and his individual. Based on the content, nature, severity, consequences of the violation and the Party’s regulations on disciplining Party members, the Central Inspection Commission requests the Politburo to consider and enforce the discipline against comrade Nguyen Van Binh.”

This will probably be the strongest “burning” event in the period from now to the 13th Party National Congress scheduled for January 2021.

With economic expertise and position in the Politburo, relatively young in the political situation of Vietnam (born in 1961), Mr. Nguyen Van Binh is considered one of the candidates who could even go higher at the 13th National Congress.

But with the conclusion of the Central Inspection Commission, the political outlook of Mr. Nguyen Van Binh is now fragile.

Born in 1961 in Phu Tho, Mr. Binh is a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in the 11th and 12th and a member of the Politburo for the 13th term.

His career is closely linked to the banking, starting at the State Bank of Vietnam since 1986.

He was a deputy director of the State Bank of Vietnam, Hanoi branch for 4 years (1998-2001).

After that, he went to Russia as vice chairman, then acting chairman of the Board of Directors of International Investment Bank (MIB) in this country.

Returning home in 2005, he worked as chief inspector of the State Bank of Vietnam.

In 2011, he was approved by the National Assembly as governor of the State Bank of Vietnam.

In 2016, he was elected to the Politburo and has held the position of the head of the Central Economic Commission until now.

Mr. Nguyen Van Binh, former Governor of the State Bank when Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung was still in office

Outside sources asserted that Mr. Nguyen Van Binh was disciplined as a result of the fight to win the title in the upcoming National Congress because other opponents wanted to remove Mr. Binh from the race. This is also the judgment of the knowledgeable people who said that “the Thanh Hoa-Nghe An faction is too strong” so it took the hand to defeat the poison to clear the way to take the seat in the Vietnamese political arena, which is entering the “finishing stage.”

Regarding this shocking event, on Facebook there are more than half a million followers, journalist Le Nguyen Huong Tra commented:

Mr. Binh, widely known as Binh “fly,” is peacefully going to destroy the mole so he met unlucky !?

In fact, the news of Mr. Nguyen Van Binh’s ability to become punished has been buzzing on social networks for several weeks now. The reasons that the Central Inspection Commission has just given Mr. Binh’s disciplinary action are very general, but with thoughtfulness, it is understood that it will not be lightly blamed; but reprimand is also considered the end of his political life.

At the end of August 2020, at a meeting, the Politburo reviewed the shortcomings that occurred under Mr. Binh as Governor; especially about purchasing some banks at zero price.

Recalling a little, around March 2015, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) took turns to decide to buy back at a compulsory price 0 dongs; including Construction Bank (VNCB, now known as CBBank), Global Petroleum Bank (GPBank), and Ocean Bank (OceanBank). That means the SBV bought these banks and restructured them.

In the situation at that time, according to Binh’s successor, Governor Le Minh Hung, later explained, it was the last resort when other options such as selling to new investors; not performing a merger or compulsory and voluntary consolidation due to high loss of banks and even bankrupting cannot be done.

Major shareholders/leaders of these banks are mostly in prison: Pham Cong Danh with 85% share of VNCB, Ha Van Tham, Ta Ba Long, Doan Van An, etc.

Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh, former Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court

And so far, banks are still in the process of restructuring, collecting bad debts to reduce accumulated losses!

Why is the purchase of three banks at zero recalled in such a sensitive time, right before the 13th National Congress!?

Mr. Nguyen Van Binh, 59, is one of the few brightest candidates for the Prime Minister’s post, in terms of qualifications or practical experience, his job is not inferior to other strong candidates like Vuong Dinh Hue or incumbent Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (if re-elected).

Even in 2016, when Mr. Binh was elected to the Politburo after the 12th National Congress, Reuters had a lot of praise when saying that Mr. Binh had been obedient to help Vietnam’s banking industry avoid the tragedy after $20 billion of bad debt affected the whole system, making the real estate market shook and tens of thousands of businesses go bankrupt. The State Bank of Vietnam also contributed to reducing the inflation rate to a record low level in 2015 and had exchange rate interventions to help protect the (export-oriented capital) economy from shocks from outside.

The fact that Mr. Nguyen Van Binh was proposed to be disciplined at this moment makes the public wonders, is the political motive stemming from the competition for senior positions at the 13th National Congress?” journalist Le Nguyen Huong Tra made a comment.

This incident was considered by the BBC to shock the Vietnamese political scene. However, a week ago, blogger Bui Thanh Hieu commented that the exclusion of Mr. Nguyen Van Binh is made by other political forces.

Former President Truong Tan Sang and Truong Hoa Binh are putting pressure on the Politburo to stop Nguyen Van Binh from the race for the government leader, otherwise it will destroy the Communist Party of Vietnam.

Sang’s denunciation letters were distributed to the Central Committee members, everyone was involved, and if they oppose they could meet troubles.

Former State President Truong Tan Sang

Billionaires Dang Hoang Yen and Dang Thanh Tam are pouring their money to support Truong Tan Sang and Truong Hoa Binh for the last gamble.

Now, whoever wants to destroy the Communist Party of Vietnam, should support Binh Ruoi, then let Truong Tan Sang and Truong Hoa Binh do it, is it fun to watch them destroying the party?

Perhaps General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s side had to step back and accept the demands of Truong Tan Sang’s faction,” That is the content that blogger Bui Thanh Hieu predicted a week ago, up to now, the problem has really happened to Mr. Nguyen Van Binh.

Truong Tan Sang’s faction finally defeated its potential opponent to run for prime minister. This article is similar to the one Mr. Trong when there is no one reputable enough to compete with Nguyen Van Binh to clear his way to become PM.

When he brought down Hoang Trung Hai and pushed Vuong Dinh Hue back to Hanoi, Nguyen Van Binh has no opponent for the prime minister post.

So, if PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Deputy PM Truong Hoa Binh have to retire due to their old age, who would be the next PM? There will be no one left.

Who are guys still remaining?

Tran Cam Tu, chairman of the Central Inspection Commission from Ha Tinh, suggested the Politburo disciplining Nguyen Van Binh and PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Deputy PM Truong Hoa Binh would loudly agree.

Mr. Trong probably has no strength anymore.

This is my speculation about the three pillars.

The proposal of Nguyen Phu Trong’s faction: General Secretary Tran Quoc Vuong, State President Pham Binh Minh, and PM Nguyen Van Binh.

However, Truong Tan Sang’s side request: Mr. Truong Hoa Binh Truong to be either State President or PM.

Mr. Phuc asked for himself one of the three possisions.

Former Nguyen Tan Dung agrees with the proposal given by incumbent General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

Truong Tan Sang led the fraction consisting of Deputy PM Truong Hoa Binh from Long An and Head of the Central Inspection Commission Tran Cam Tu from Ha Tinh to block other candidates for the government leader to make the road for Truong Hoa Binh to take the post.

Minister of Public Security is reported to seek for the State President post.

Minister of Public Security, General To Lam

This November will be a decisive battle, at present Mr. Truong Hoa Binh is dragging the case of Tran Bac Ha’s son to trial, forming a springboard, going to eliminate Nguyen Van Binh.

In my opinion, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong should let Mr. To Lam be the president of the country, in return he will support the option that only Mr. Tran Quoc Vuong will stay in the Politburo,” blogger Bui Thanh Hieu, who has a long experience observing Vietnamese politics, made a statement. (Translated)

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