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Vietnam parliament to appoint new president this week — sources

HANOI — Vietnam’s National Assembly will hold an extraordinary meeting this week, a session that officials and diplomats expect to confirm the appointment of a new president amid a leadership reshuffle prompted by a sweeping crackdown on graft.

Multiple officials and diplomats said the new president, a largely ceremonial role, would be Vo Van Thuong, who, at 52, is currently the youngest member of the party’s Politburo, the country’s highest decision-making body.

His appointment comes amid an anti-corruption campaign, dubbed the “blazing furnace,” under which hundreds of officials have been investigated and many top political figures have been dismissed, including two deputy prime ministers.

Mr. Thuong is seen as being close to Vietnam’s most powerful figure, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, who is the main architect of the anti-graft campaign.

The president in Vietnam is among the top four political figures in the country, together with the party’s general secretary, the prime minister and the head of the national assembly.

Parliament will hold an out-of-session meeting this week, according to information posted on the portals of the local governments of the southern provinces of Khanh Hoa and Binh Phuoc. The latter said the extraordinary session would start on Wednesday.

Parliament and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is in charge of communications on behalf of the government, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The next regular session of parliament is scheduled in May.

One Vietnamese official said the assembly’s meeting would follow the party’s decision, expected in the first half of this week, to name a new president.

Last month, the country’s president Nguyen Xuan Phuc suddenly resigned after the ruling Communist Party blamed him for “violations and wrongdoing” by officials under his control.

The current acting president is Vo Thi Anh Xuan, who was the deputy president when Phuc resigned. — Reuters

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