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March 2, 2024

Vietnam legislature to hold extraordinary meeting Wednesday, Reuters reports

The Vietnam Communist Party’s anti-corruption drive may claim the jobs of more senior members this week on the back of this month’s removal of two deputy prime ministers.

The National Assembly will hold a rare extraordinary meeting Wednesday, according to the Reuters news agency.

It cited three anonymous sources “familiar with government and parliament affairs,” who said the legislature may approve the “resignations” of more senior officials.

On Dec. 30 RFA reported that the Communist Party had removed Pham Binh Minh and Vu Duc Dam from its Central Committee.

Six days later the National Assembly voted to replace them as deputy prime ministers with party members Tran Hong Ha and Tran Luu Quang.

The tenures of Pham Binh Minh and Vu Duc Dam were both marred by bribery scandals. Minh oversaw foreign relations during the ‘rescue flights’ affair, involving payments to repatriate citizens stranded abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dam was deputy prime minister in charge of healthcare when the chief executive officer of healthcare company Viet A admitted bribing officials for contracts to sell substandard COVID test kits to hospitals.

The Viet A scandal also claimed the jobs of Health Minister Nguen Thanh Long, and Hanoi Mayor and former Science and Technology Minister Chu Ngoc Anh, who were arrested on June 7, 2022.

RFA called National Assembly General Secretary Bui Van Cuong to seek comment on the Reuters report but no one answered.

Deputy Secretary General Nguyen Thi Thuy Ngan told RFA she was unaware of any plan to hold a National Assembly meeting Wednesday. When the reporter tried to ask a follow-up question she said she was busy and put down the phone.

Translated by RFA Vietnamese. Edited by Mike Firn.

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