Vietnam’s state-controlled media reported that the 6th session of the 15th National Assembly, on October 25, held votes of confidence for 44 key leadership positions of the country, elected and approved by the highest legislative body.
Among them are Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue. However, the National Assembly will not take a vote of confidence for the newly-elected officials such as Mr. Vo Van Thuong, Tran Hong Ha, Tran Luu Quang, Le Quang Manh, and Dang Quoc Khanh, because this procedure was completed in early 2013.
Insiders said that this vote of confidence is quite tense, because it is considered a round to serve as a basis for reviewing personnel for the upcoming 14th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam.
If the person receiving “low confidence” from more than half to less than two-thirds of the total votes, he or she can resign; If they do not resign, the National Assembly Standing Committee will submit it to the National Assembly and vote for dismissal at that session or the most recent session.
Before this National Assembly session, there were rumors among knowledgeable people that National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue, due to not sharing responsibility with General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong for the failure at the 8th Plenum, therefore, General Secretary Trong has accused him of having an individualistic ideology, and there is a high risk of being blocked from advancing to the position of General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam at the upcoming 14th National Congress. That is why, there are concerns for Mr. Hue in getting a vote of confidence this time.
Similarly, for Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, the trial of the bid-rigging case at the Quang Ninh Obstetrics and Children’s Hospital involving Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Nhan was held on October 24, right at the time the National Assembly session opened its ongoing session, has made the public worried about the future of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, in this vote of confidence.
Nikkei Asia newspaper on October 24 had an article about the trial that had just opened in Quang Ninh, and assessed that, “Nhan’s corruption case is political.”
According to Nikkei Asia’s assessment, “… the ongoing trial in Quang Ninh of the bid-rigging case at the Quang Ninh Obstetrics and Children’s Hospital shows that the forces within the Party are targeting Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, who was the Secretary of this locality in 2011–2015. Mr. Chinh is considered a rival of Minister of Public Security To Lam.”
Nikkei Asia also quoted the words of Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong – General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam – given in mid-August 2023, saying: “Criminals are not able to escape. We will do everything in our power to bring Ms. Nhan to justice.”
However, those worries did not happen as predicted, but the results of the vote of confidence were quite interesting, said to be win-win…, acceptable to all parties.
Specifically, the people who received the most “high confidence” votes were:
First Minister of National Defense, Phan Van Giang.
Second, Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue.
Incumbent Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh ranked 12th. And in the opposite direction:
The lowest person is Minister of Science and Technology Huynh Thanh Dat.
The second lowest is Minister of Culture Nguyen Van Hung.
The third lowest is Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien.
The remaining Minister of Education Nguyen Kim Son ranked 39th; Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung ranked 37th, and Minister of Health Dao Hong Lan’s results were also low.
According to the results of this vote of confidence, the leaders of the Army are still fine, the leaders of the Ministries of Industry and Trade, Information, and Health are worrying, and the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Education are exempt from discussion.
The Judiciary sector also does not have very high trust, except for Minister of Justice Le Thanh Long, who has a pretty good position, ranked 14th. For the rest, Chief Justice Nguyen Hoa Binh ranked 31st (probably due to the consequences from unjust sentences), Chief Procurator of the Supreme People’s Procuracy Le Minh Tri ranked 24th.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Public Security ranked 26th, while Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son, who was disciplined in the rescue flight incident, ranked 15th, nearly twice as high as the Minister of Public Security. The high trust rating for Minister To Lam has increased compared to 2018, however, if only considering the low trust rating, Minister To Lam dropped to 37th place.