Vietnam: Anti-renovation wins at 13th Party Congress?

General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong read the report on the documents at the opening ceremony of the 13th Congress on January 26

Platform 91 – means to maintain power

The 13th National Congress of the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) is taking place from January 25, 2021. The important event every four years of the party seems to have little real public interest because the information is tightly controlled, the list of senior personnel is considered top secret. According to many observers, the most important line issues of the Party, which had a decisive effect on the country in practice, were not discussed in the public, even though, the state-controlled media posts the party’s draft documents and call on citizens for comments. According to many unofficial sources, Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong is currently the only candidate for the post of general secretary, despite being too old and suffering from serious illnesses, and will almost certainly be re-elected.

On January 29, 2021, Professor Tuong Lai, former director of the Institute of Sociology, who had the opportunity to participate in drafting the Party’s line, or close to the top leadership, published an article that revealed the fierce conflicts in the upper echelons of the Party in recent years, and the role of Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong, from not yet general secretary to holding this position, then gradually in many ways, firstly, by resolutely in the complete restoration of Platform 91, step by step taking almost full power. Several websites have published articles, which many observers consider rare, revealing Nguyen Phu Trong’s method of maintaining his power.

Please follow an excerpt of the article: «From the 7th Congress to the 11th Congress there is a tension surrounding Platform 91. Sometimes renovation wins very strongly, sometimes it meets difficulties”… Abolished the drafting stages of the Platform to only talk about the 10th Congress with the adjustments to Platform 91 on the nature of the Party with the re-affirmations of the view of the 2nd Congress in Vietnam: The Party is the working-class party is also the party of the nation … Raising Nguyen Phu Trong means bringing up the person with the most extreme ideas about Platform 91. Even in the fierce debate about ownership, as a person moderating the discussion at the 10th Congress, Nguyen Phu Trong had the intention of regaining publicity. Fortunately, there were strong opinions of many delegates opposing … so Trong’s sinful trick failed … (That’s why Nguyen Phu Trong, with the power of the General Secretary, was very strict in the selection of delegates to attend the Congress from the grassroots level, the provincial level, especially the central level … in fact, the arrangement of the previous course for the staff of the next course is dominated by some people who are in power force in hand, under the manipulation of Trong.”

Regarding Professor Tuong Lai’s article about Nguyen Phu Trong and his struggle for views on the supernatural power of Vietnam, responding to RFI, journalist Vo Van Tao from Nha Trang gave some comments:

I have read Mr. Tuong Lai’s article. He commented on the current figure who is currently the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong, which mentioned the so-called Platform 91. I understand that during that period there was a very struggle fierce between the radical, realistic school and the dogmatic, old-fashioned school within the top of the Vietnamese Communist Party. After the Marxist-Leninism collapsed and the Soviet Union dissolved, the Vietnamese communists searched for a new theoretical direction. In the most objective way, I can say that, in this article, he has told true stories, in his own way, from the insiders, in the elite of the Communist Party of Vietnam. In terms of ideology, in theory, this article also helps the public outside the Party understand the so-called secret history of the regime in history quite near now, not far away, since Mr. Trong became general secretary.

Having these descriptions is very good, very necessary for today’s Vietnamese society, but it must also be understood that people who are capable of making summaries in this field are not many. I say, for example, the article of Tuong Lai is confined to the Communist Party only. If he wants to prove more convincing, he must expand his connection with the post-collapse socialist bloc, including the Soviet Union, which is a model of relative failure. No longer a communist, but still a dictator, so the country’s potential has not been fully promoted. But for example, also in the collapse of Communism, there are relatively successful countries, like Poland. Poland merged with the European Union at the earliest, and their economic life progress was the fastest. It takes such a general overview, to be a common denominator, that one can learn from. That is looking at things that are global, then more convincing. In order for people to know if Vietnam wants to go up, what direction it should go, etc.”

Yesterday, the ongoing Congress’s schedule was unexpectedly hampered with the emergence of more than 50 Covid-19 infections in the community in many northern provinces. Many provincial leaders had to skip the congress meeting to return to their localities. Today, because the epidemic is at risk of an outbreak, Congress announced it would end one day early (February 1). (Translated)

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