In 2021, when the 13th party’s National Congress took place, Pham Minh Chinh took one of the Four Pillars, Nguyen Xuan Phuc took another one. Even though he was in the nominal position of State President, Phuc was also considered as a candidate to run for the position of General Secretary in 2026, however, that story is over. Phuc was kicked out of the race before the Lunar New Year.
Previously, the political arena had fluctuations but it was outside the quartet, unless one of the Four Pillars died, there would be a replacement, like in the case of State President Tran Dai Quang, but it is impossible for members of the Four Pillars to be knocked down in the middle of his term like Phuc. In the past, once one became one of the Four Pillars, it was considered safe, but now, even being in the Four Pillars is no longer safe.
Now, in the Four Pillars with 4 legs, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s faction takes 3 legs. At the beginning of his term, Trong’s faction accounted for 50%, in the middle of his term, his faction accounted for 75%. From now until the end of his term, there is no guarantee that the party chief will not push the number to 100%. The political game is unpredictable, like a football match. It can happen at any moment during the match.
That is in the Four Pillars, but also in the Government. Under PM Chinh, there were 4 deputies, 3 fell, only 1 remains. The drop rate was 75%, not less. Two new DPMs are considered not very friendly with PM Chinh. Even DPM Tran Luu Quang is the subject of threats to Chinh’s PM post, once Mr. Quang is elected to be added to the Politburo in the upcoming Central Committee conference.
Above, PM Chinh was surrounded on three sides, inside the Government, Mr. Chinh was chipped by 75% of his forces, actually the incumbent PM is both in a “besieged” position and chipped in his internal strength. With the PM’s post much stronger than the Presidential post, it seems that Mr. Trong does not want to hit hard, but he implements the strategy of “worms eating strawberries” which means that Mr. Trong turns the environment around the PM into a more disadvantageous for the government leader.
In Vietnam, there is no such thing as a clean official, a clean official is an undisclosed official. In the past 2 years, the Government has been greatly chipped. Up to 3 DPMs and two ministers fell midway and the number did not seem to stop. Meanwhile, there is any change of the Secretariat. Even Tran Tuan Anh, Head of the Central Economic Commission, was not harmed despite having a number of scandals.
In terms of the key leadership of the Communist Party, General Secretary Trong’s faction took 4 out of 5 positions. Thus, how can the voice of PM Chinh have as much weight as the 4 voices of those on the same side as the General Secretary. Nguyen Phu Trong’s faction dominated in the Four Pillars, the key leadership group, and the Politburo. The game is too unbalanced for the cabinet leader.
There is an opinion that, it is not true that Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong is only greedy for power, but he has a task that cannot be completed, if he only sits as General Secretary for 2 terms and then withdraws. His favorite candidate to replace him is Vuong Dinh Hue, who is a person with poor fighting ability, if he withdraws in 2021, it is unlikely that Vuong Dinh Hue will be able to surpass Nguyen Xuan Phuc, let alone overcome Pham Minh Chinh.
In this game, only Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong is deep enough and dangerous enough to eliminate PM Chinh’s flanks. If Vuong Dinh Hue is released into a “duels” for the party leader, he has small chance of winning. Having worked as a DPM who was trained in economics and finance, but his loss to the police intelligence general in the battle for the PM’s seat is clear evidence. Without support of General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, Vuong Dinh Hue could not do anything.