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

By Vo Van Thanh, Vo Hai   July 15, 2016 | 10:25 pm GMT+7

He is also facing strict sanctions by the Communist Party.

An embattled senior official has been stripped of his lawmaker-elect status after the Communist Party held him accountable for massive losses at a major state-owned oil corporation and rebuked him for illegally using government license plate on his private luxury car.

Trinh Xuan Thanh, former vice chairman of the Hau Giang provincial government, was the only lawmaker-elect to be dismissed before the newly-installed National Assembly, Vietnam's legislature, convenes its first plenary session next week, Nguyen Hanh Phuc, the chief of staff of the National Election Council, said Friday.

Last May, around 69 million Vietnamese cast their vote to choose representatives for a 500-seat National Assembly. Thanh was elected along with other 495 candidates.

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The National Election Council meeting chaired by Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, chairwoman of the National Assembly, on July 15. Photo by VnExpress

Thanh's dismissal came after the Communist Party's Central Inspection Commission on July 11 announced that Thanh, a party member, would have to bear responsibility for the losses PetroVietnam Construction Corporation (PVC) incurred between 2007 and 2013, when he was its chairman.

He had already "voluntarily" withdrawn from the re-election race for the position of the province’s vice chairman after his alleged misuse of an official plate on his private luxury car raised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

Thanh is 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 ordered a probe into his promotion process.

In its statement, the Central Inspection Commission held Thanh, as PVC chairman during the 2007-2013 period, accountable for dereliction of duty and violations on economic management, resulting in losses of more than VND3.2 trillion ($142 million), according to Vietnam News Agency.

The commission proposed strict punishment against him.

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