Vietnam announces former Minister To Lam as new President

Hanoi, May 22 (IANS/DPA) Vietnam’s National Assembly, on Wednesday morning, approved To Lam, the Minister of Public Security, as the country’s next President following a vote at its headquarters in Hanoi.

The appointment comes nearly two months after Vietnam’s former President Vo Van Thuong resigned amid a corruption crackdown. Lam has become the third President of Vietnam in less than 18 months, in a country that has a reputation for its stable politics.

Lam, the third most powerful man in Vietnam besides the Party Chief and Prime Minister, is viewed as a hardliner when it comes to dealings with Vietnamese activists. Numerous dissidents and bloggers were jailed during his tenure as the Minister of Public Security.

Lam was handed the public security portfolio in 2016.

In November 2021, To Lam was widely mocked after a video emerged online showing him being hand-fed gold leaf steak worth thousands of dollars by celebrity chef Salt Bae during a trip to the UK, in which he also visited the grave of communist icon Karl Marx.

On Sunday, a spokesperson from the National Assembly announced to the media that Lam would also continue in his position as the Minister of Public Security.

The announcement sparked controversy in Vietnam as some people argued the Constitution does not allow one person to keep the post of President and be a Minister at the same time. He was ultimately dismissed from the position before being elected the President on Wednesday.



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