Vietnam’s President Resigns Over Communist Party Breaches, State Media Says

President Vo Van Thuong of Vietnam has resigned after violating Communist Party regulations, state media reported on Wednesday, the second president to step down in a little over a year. The reports did not offer any details about his alleged wrongdoing.

While the president is part of a leadership collective — which includes the leader of the Communist Party, the prime minister and Parliament — that governs Vietnam, the post is a ceremonial one. In recent years, power has been largely consolidated in the hands of the party leader, Nguyen Phu Trong.

Still, Mr. Thuong’s resignation is likely to unnerve many officials within a one-party system that prides itself on unity and stability. And it could be a sign of an internal power struggle for the future of Vietnam — Mr. Thuong, 53, was the youngest president in recent history and seen as a potential successor to Mr. Trong, who is 79, in ill health and had recommended him for the job.

“The mere fact that two presidents have resigned within two years is not a positive sign for a country often praised for political stability,” said Nguyen Khac Giang, a visiting fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, a research organization in Singapore. He said Mr. Thuong’s resignation signaled an “intensifying” period of power struggle within the Communist Party ahead of the next leadership transition in 2026.

Vietnam’s Communist Party has governed the country for nearly five decades since reunification. In 2021, Mr. Trong was reappointed as general secretary for an unprecedented third five-year term as party leaders failed to reach consensus on his successor.

Vietnam has often been praised for the delicate balance it has struck between the United States and China. During his short tenure, Mr. Thuong met with many foreign leaders — including President Biden and President Xi Jinping of China — as the world’s major powers courted Vietnam, home to one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies. But the shake-up could spook foreign investors, who have flocked to Vietnam in recent years, believing that the country offered a stable political climate.

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