Vietnam renews leadership amid increased repression

Hanoi (AFP) - The Vietnamese Communist Party congress opens in Hanoi on Monday, an opportunity for the country to renew its leaders and define its main directions for the next five years, against a backdrop of increased repression of the opposition and tensions with Washington and Beijing.

Gathered until February 2 under the great portraits of Ho Chi Minh, Marx and Lenin, 1,600 delegates will choose the General Secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party (PCV), the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister and the President of the National Assembly, the four pillars of the regime.

Everything is in principle concluded before this five-year high mass, but in this country where the media are entirely controlled by the PCV - in power since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 - the general public does not have access to negotiations.

Analysts are banking on continuity, unlike the last congress in 2016, which saw the old guard and the reformers clash.

Nguyen Phu Trong, 76, a pro-Beijing conservative, could serve a third term as PCV secretary general and continue his anti-corruption campaign that has allowed him to clean up the ranks of the party, the army and of the police.

Nguyen Phu Trong would on the other hand give up the post of President of the Republic in favor of the current Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, 66, hailed for his management of the coronavirus pandemic and his economic record.

In the months preceding the great masses of the Communist Party, the authorities used to intensify their repression.This thirteenth congress was no exception to the rule.

Posted Date: 2021-03-18

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