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Vietnam Central Committee’s 14th plenum ends

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Vietnam Central Committee’s 14th plenum ends

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Photo: VGP

The week-long 14th plenum, or party meeting, of the 12th Vietnamese Communist Party (VCP) Central Committee ends today.

The 14th plenum decides leadership for the 13th Central Committee. Key nominations for the “four pillars” of VCP leadership include that of state president, prime minister, general secretary of the VCP and chairperson of the national assembly. In January 2021 the National Congress will appoint these positions for five year terms.

The “four pillars” of the VCP may become three following this plenum. Breaking tradition, in 2018 VCP Secretary General Nguyen Phu Trong was elected to serve concurrently as state president. The general secretary position, the most powerful in the VCP, may be merged with the position of state president, a largely ceremonial role.

Thus far, Trong’s rise to power is following a similar trajectory as that of Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping. Like Xi, Trong purged key political rivals under the banner of corruption as Secretary General. If Trong formally merges party leadership under the title of general secretary he will threaten the precept of VCP “democratic centralism”, which limits the general secretary’s influence by balancing power across the “four pillars.”

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