This photo taken on 1 February 2021 shows Vo Van Thuong, a senior leader in the Communist Party of Vietnam, at a press conference after the closing ceremony of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) 13th National Congress at the National Convention Centre in Hanoi/

HANOI, VIETNAM — Vietnam’s rubber stamp National Assembly voted in a new president on Thursday, who immediately pledged to crack down on corruption following the dramatic resignation of his predecessor in an anti-graft campaign.

The appointment of Vo Van Thuong comes during a period of political upheaval in Vietnam, where the all-powerful Communist Party’s anti-graft purge and factional fighting have seen several ministers fired.

Members of the National Assembly elected 52-year-old Thuong — the sole candidate — for a term running until 2026, following the dramatic resignation of Nguyen Xuan Phuc as part of an anti-corruption drive.

In his first statement as president, Thuong said he would be “determined in the fight against corruption and negative phenomena”.

Authoritarian Vietnam is run by the party, which is officially led by the general secretary, president and prime minister.

Thuong is seen as close to Secretary General Nguyen Phu Trong, the most powerful man in the party and the architect of the anti-corruption campaign.

The campaign has led to the arrest of dozens of officials, with many of the graft allegations relating to deals done as part of Vietnam’s COVID pandemic response.


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