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Government: Hardliner To Lam new President of Vietnam

Government: Hardliner To Lam new President of Vietnam

For the third time in just three years, Vietnam has a new president. The new guy is a well-known hardliner – and is said to be the person who ordered the Tiergarten kidnapping in Berlin.

In Vietnam, the previous minister of public security has been sworn in as the new president. The National Assembly elected 66-year-old Politburo member To Lam to replace Vo Van Thuong, who resigned in March amid a corruption scandal. The Central Committee of the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) presented To Lam as the only candidate for the office at the weekend.

This means that the country on the Mekong has a new head of state for the third time in just three years – an unusual situation in Vietnam, which is otherwise known for its political stability. In fact, Vo Van Thuong’s resignation after just one year in office was forced by the Communist Party.

His predecessor also resigned after allegations of corruption. However, the Vietnamese president does not have great political powers. The more representative office is only considered the third most important in the political hierarchy after that of party chairman and head of government.

The anti-corruption campaign is led by KPV general secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, the most powerful man in the Southeast Asian one-party state. Lam has been an important figure in implementing the measures so far.

Client of the zoo kidnapping

The new president is considered a hardliner in his dealings with the Vietnamese democracy movement. He took over the post of Minister of Public Security, from which he has now resigned, in 2016 – since then activists and bloggers have been arrested again and again.

A year after Lam’s appointment, a Vietnamese ex-manager was kidnapped from the Berlin Tiergarten and taken to his homeland. In Vietnam, Trinh Xuan Thanh, who sought political asylum in Germany, was sentenced to life imprisonment twice on corruption charges.

According to a ruling by the Berlin Court of Appeal, Lam is said to have ordered the kidnapping. The incident severely strained relations between the two countries. Recently, however, the relationship stabilized again. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier only made a state visit to Vietnam in January.

Source: Stern

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