Vietnam ruling Communist Party chief Trong re-elected for third term: state media

Vietnam’s General Secretary of the Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (2nd R), National Assembly’s Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (2nd L) and Standing Permanent Secretary Tran Quoc Vuong cast their votes during the 13th national congress of the ruling communist party of Vietnam at the National Convention Center in Hanoi, Vietnam January 30, 2021. VNA/Handout via REUTERS

HANOI (Reuters) – Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong, 76, has been re-elected for a rare third five-year term, state media reported on Sunday, cementing his position as one of the country’s longest-serving leaders for decades.

Trong, who emerged on top in a power struggle at the last congress in 2016 and has spearheaded a “blazing furnace” crackdown on corruption in the last five years, was granted an exception to party rules which say people over the age of 65 should retire.

“Comrade Nguyen Phu Trong was elected to be the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, term XIII,” the official Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.

Trong’s re-election as party general secretary came at a five-yearly party congress in Hanoi, where 1,600 party delegates from across Vietnam are concluding eight days of meetings, mostly behind closed doors, to pick a new leadership team, aiming to bolster Vietnam’s ongoing economic success – and the legitimacy of the party’s rule.

Vietnam has no paramount ruler and is officially led by four “pillars”: the chief of its Communist Party, the most powerful post; a president; a prime minister; and the National Assembly chair.

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