Vietnam unveils new transport, inspection chiefs in waiting as corruption crackdown continues

By Hoang Thuy   October 25, 2017 | 05:24 pm GMT+7

It’s just a matter of formality for lawmakers to rubber-stamp the new appointments on Thursday.

Vietnam's government announced its nominees for new transport minister and chief government inspector on Wednesday as part of a major personnel reshuffle that takes place against the backdrop of a sweeping anti-graft move.

The two personnel changes were decided by the Communist Party’s Politburo, the country’s most powerful political body, some time before they were made public. With 90 percent of the legislative National Assembly delegates being Party members, it should be a matter of formality for lawmakers to rubber-stamp the new appointments at a meeting on Thursday.

Nguyen Van The, the Party chief of Soc Trang Province, was "nominated" by the government as the new Minister of Transport during the ongoing biannual session of the country's legislature.

The, 51, earned a PhD in transport in Russia and worked for several transport companies in his hometown Dong Thap Province in southern Vietnam before serving as its vice chairman.

He was vice minister of transport between June 2013 and October 2015 before being transferred to the southern province of Soc Trang. 

He will fill the transport minister's seat vacated by Truong Quang Nghia, who has taken a new role as Party chief of Da Nang. The central city's top leader was fired earlier this month for serious misconduct.

The's position in Soc Trang has been passed to former chief inspector Phan Van Sau, who also started his political carreer as a provincial Party leader.

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Nguyen Van The has been handpicked as Vietnam's transport minister after serving as Party chief of Soc Trang Province. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Hai

Sau’s successor will be Le Minh Khai, the sitting Party chief of Bac Lieu Province.

Khai, 53, has a background in accounting and auditing and held several government positions in Bac Lieu before being picked as its Party leader in October 2015.

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Le Minh Khai has ended his job as Bac Lieu Province's Party boss to serve as the government's new chief inspector. Photo by VnExpress

Vietnam has witnessed a major personnel reshuffle this year as part of a massive corruption crackdown.

In May, Dinh La Thang was dismissed as Party chief of Ho Chi Minh City after an investigation accused him of “serious violations” when he was head of state energy giant PetroVietnam several years ago. Thang was replaced by Nguyen Thien Nhan, who previously served as president of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, an umbrella organization of all Vietnam's political and social groups, in 2013.

Vietnam's sweeping anti-graft push is being spearheaded by Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong.

Speaking at a major meeting with 200 senior Communist Party members in Hanoi earlier this month, Trong said all officials should “regularly fix, scrutinize and prevent themselves from having materialistic temptations and ambitions.”