Vietnam dismisses former provincial Party chief for promoting son to senior position

By Dac Thanh   February 5, 2018 | 07:37 pm PT
Vietnam dismisses former provincial Party chief for promoting son to senior position
Le Phuoc Thanh pictured in a file photo by VnExpress/Dac Thanh
Le Phuoc Thanh paved the way for his inexperienced son to become Quang Nam Province's top investment official.

Vietnam's Communist Party Secretariat has dismissed a former provincial chairman and Party unit chief for staff management, appointment and promotion violations.

Le Phuoc Thanh has been stripped of the role he held as the Party head of Quang Nam Province from 2010-2015. He was also provincial chairman from 2011-2016.

The Party's highest implementation body said in a statement on Monday that Thanh had violated the Party's democratic centralism principles and regulations on the management, appointment and promotion of local officials during his time in power.

He was also found to have shown signs of nepotism by paving the way for his inexperienced son Le Phuoc Hoai Bao to become the director of the province’s Planning and Investment Department.

Furthermore, Thanh had sanctioned the local government to fund his son's postgraduate degree in the U.S., going against regulations.

The Secretariat concluded that Thanh's violations were "very serious" and had damaged the Party's reputation.

Thanh's illegal promotions of his son first drew public scrutiny in September 2015 when Bao, then 30, was installed as head of the province’s Department of Planning and Investment. The appointment made Bao the youngest department director in the country, and raised several eyebrows due to his inexperience and the fact that Thanh was still Quang Nam's Party chief at the time.

A public backlash compelled the Ministry of Home Affairs to step in, but inspectors said they could find nothing wrong with the appointments he had made.

Thanh's violations were only uncovered last year by the Communist Party's top watchdog, the Central Inspection Committee.

Bao has been removed from office pending the abolishment of his Party membership, and will then be removed from other positions he was wrongly appointed to, according to a local official.

Nepotism is not new to Vietnam. According to the Governance and Public Administration Performance Index, “nepotism and corruption in public sector employment have become a systemic problem.”

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in January last year called for any bureaucrats whose appointments were influenced by nepotism to be dismissed.

Last month, Party leaders also announced that strict measures will be taken to prevent anyone from taking a short cut to political power.

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