Vietnam picks transport minister as top leader of Da Nang

By Nguyen Dong, Hoang Thuy   October 6, 2017 | 09:18 pm PT
Vietnam picks transport minister as top leader of Da Nang
Vietnam's Minister of Transport Truong Quang Nghia has been appointed as the new Party chief of Da Nang City.
The decision was announced just a day after his predecessor was fired for misconduct.

Minister of Transport Truong Quang Nghia has been appointed Party chief of Da Nang on Saturday morning, less than 12 hours after his predecessor Nguyen Xuan Anh was ousted from this position.

Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party on Friday fired Anh and dismissed him from the Central Committee, one of the country's most powerful bodies, as punishment for misconduct in the central city.

The Central Inspection Committee concluded last Friday that Anh had violated the Party’s democratic centralism principles by making multiple decisions without consulting others, besides personal misconduct. He also set a bad example by accepting a car and two houses as gifts from businesses, the committee said, while his academic credentials have been brought into question.

Anh had also displayed signs of nepotism, the Politburo, the Party's decision making body said without elaborating.

Nghia, 59, has sat on the transport minister’s chair for more than a year. He is a member of the Central Committee and the Parliament and used to be Da Nang's deputy Party chief from 2008 to 2010.

For 16 years, he served in the military and worked at Vietnam Construction and Import-Export Joint Stock Corporation (Vinaconex).

He used to work as Party Chief for Son La Province in northern Vietnam from June 2012 to March 2015. 

As Minister of Transport, Nghia has given priority to the Vietnam-trans expressway and the railway sector, which has been losing its steam to aviation and road transport services. 

Da Nang has gained kudos as one of the most modern places in the country, and its leadership is often hailed as an example to follow. Yet following a recent spate of management scandals, the Party’s top watchdog last month proposed disciplinary measures against Anh and Huynh Duc Tho, Da Nang’s chairman.

Tho has received a warning from the Party, which has four modes of punishment for misconduct by official members: reprimand, warning, demotion and expulsion. He has been held mainly accountable for land management violations in the city. For a high-ranking official like Tho, receiving a warning also means that his position is anything but certain.

Da Nang will host world leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump, China's Xi Jinping and Russia's Vladimir Putin at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in November.

On the eve of the Party meeting, Mai Tien Dung, minister and chairman of the Government Office, said the punishment facing Da Nang's two top leaders would not affect what will be Vietnam's most important political event this year. Preparations for the summit have been calibrated and managed by top leaders in Hanoi and are not intertwined with any action to be taken against the leaders of the host city, Dung said.

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