Vietnam’s former minister faces sanctions as Party chief orders no-holds-barred inspection

By Xuan Hoa   July 18, 2016 | 04:48 pm PT
Vietnam’s former minister faces sanctions as Party chief orders no-holds-barred inspection
Former Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Ha
The dubious promotion of an embattled official comes back to bite the former trade minister.

Communist Party's General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong has called for a thorough inspection into the responsibility of Vu Huy Hoang, the former Minister of Industry and Trade, in the questionable promotion of an embattled lawmaker-elect who has just been dismissed for his financial wrongdoings and lavish lifestyle.

Trong asked the Central Inspection Committee, the Communist Party's top watchdog, to instruct agencies concerned to ensure the investigation is "just, objective, integral and no-holds-barred".

Under Hoang's leadership between 2010 and 2015, Trinh Xuan Thanh, whose lawmaker-elect status was stripped on July 15, was kicked upstairs in the political apparatus of the Ministry of Industry and Trade even though the state-run PetroVietnam Construction Corporation (PVC) he chaired from 2007 to 2013 incurred losses of around VND3.3 trillion ($144 million).

The Central Inspection Committee on July 11 held Thanh accountable for dereliction of duty and violations on economic management, resulting in the losses. The committee proposed strict punishment against him.

Thanh was also elected to the National Assembly, Vietnam's legislature, last May. He was dismissed on July 15, just days before the full house convenes its first plenary session next week.

He had already "voluntarily" withdrawn from the re-election race for the position of vice mayor of the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang after his alleged misuse of an official plate on his private luxury car raised public hackles, prompting an investigation.

Thanh was in the spotlight for three reasons. First, he used a blue license plate on a private Lexus LX570 that should only be used by government-owned vehicles. Second, PVC, where Thanh was chairman from 2007 to 2013, incurred heavy losses under his leadership. Third, it is still not clear why he has continued to be kicked upstairs despite his track record.

Following the public outcry, Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong had ordered a probe into his promotion process.

Hoang was appointed as minister of Industry and Trade in August 2007 and retired last April.

Related news:

Vietnam’s former industry minister under fire over son's promotions

Vietnam’s lawmaker-elect dismissed for economic mismanagement, lavish lifestyle

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