Vietnam's President Resigns

    Vietnam's President Resigns
    Image copyright: Antonio Masiello/Contributor/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • Just over a year since his election, Vietnam's ruling Communist Party has accepted the resignation of Pres. Vo Van Thuong, whom it accused of having "shortcomings" that "negatively impacted public opinion, affecting the reputation of the Party, State and him personally."

    • While the presidency is seen as a largely nominal position, it is one of the four highest offices in Vietnam's government. The government decided to remove Thuong after a special parliamentary session on "personnel matters."

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    The Vietnamese government has clear rules regarding office holders' conduct, which Thuong decided to violate and thus forced him to relinquish all official duties. Thuang's corrupt actions have resulted in the public's distrust of their leaders, which is why the Central Committee had to step in and remove him from his position of influence.

    Narrative B

    Despite the country's recent economic success — thanks to a manufacturing boom for companies such as Nike, Adidas, and Lululemon — Vietnam is a tightly controlled communist dictatorship. The removal of Pres. Thuong, as was the case for his predecessor, simply means the ruling party's major power players wanted him gone.

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