On the morning of December 22, 2020, speaking at the third meeting of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, the Standing Secretariat of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Tran Quoc Vuong, declared the fight against corruption aims to keep the party’s reputation, not fear of undermining the party’s credibility even closer to its 13th National Congress slated for Jan 25-Feb 2 next year.
The next day, December 23, at the Conference summarizing the anti-corruption work in Hanoi, Hanoi Party Secretary Vuong Dinh Hue announced that the anti-corruption work can be considered as Hanoi’s specialties, because very few provinces and cities in the country have long-lasting full-course programs on anti-corruption, throughout many courses like Hanoi. Mr. Vuong Dinh Hue asked for transparency in management and administration in order to prevent corruption.
Dr. Dinh Duc Long, who announced his resignation from the party in 2014, commented on the statement of the Standing Committee of Tran Quoc Vuong’s Secretariat about anti-corruption via Facebook messenger application with RFA:
“Corruption is everywhere, but corruption in Vietnam is different from everywhere, it is ‘Party” because almost all corrupt officials are party members, learning and following the example of late President Ho Chi Minh regularly and continuously. Saying as Mr. Tran Quoc Vuong is not wrong, but how to measure the Party’s reputation to increase after each fight against corruption?
Does the Party dare to conduct a referendum and take votes of people’s confidence about the results against corruption or the party’s ruling capacity?
Once the political platform of the Party is the highest, more than the Constitution, all acts of anti-corruption in any form, at any time (before or after the Party Congress) are just to protect the interests of the Party, not to protect the interests of the People.”
On December 12, 2020, at the National Conference to summarize the prevention and fight against corruption in the period 2013 – 2020 chaired by Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong, Deputy Head of the Central Internal Affairs Department Nguyen Thai Hoc said: “The General Secretary has repeatedly concluded that the fight against corruption has not stopped, not rested, not sagged, but also more drastic.”
“The burning campaign” was initiated by Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong in 2016 as CPV’s General Secretary. This campaign is considered to be an effort by the party to regain power as well as strengthen people’s confidence in the regime.
Professor Nguyen Dinh Cong is another party member also announced his resignation from the party and asked the party organization to remove his name from the list in 2016. This professor said that the fight against corruption is actually the work of the Government, the Executive, the Justice, but the party embraces it to do it. The party’s prestige is formed from many activities in which anti-corruption is only one part. Furthermore, to thoroughly fight corruption, the party needs to eliminate the root that gave rise to it was party dictatorship, which the party did not want.
He analyzed whether the party’s anti-corruption makes people believe the party, via email:
“Because People have many classes with different perceptions and interests. Some belief and others do not believe. Temporarily divide people into two classes according to labor. The general working class and the higher working class. Most of the unskilled workers only listen to one-way propaganda from the party’s propaganda, they just want to keep their business, they are content with the present, afraid of the government, do not know, and dare not argue. If anyone asks if they believe the party, they will happily say they do, but that is just a verbal statement, but honestly, they don’t know if they believe it or not.
The higher working class has needs mainly freedom of thought, freedom of expression, they have a lot of information, a few have the need to criticize. Asking if they believe the party, the majority of people honestly say they do not believe.
The majority of general laborers informed that the party was determined to fight corruption, while the majority of senior workers said that the party did not want and could not fight corruption thoroughly, but only used anti-corruption measures for internal fighting.”
A former member of the National Assembly Le Van Cuong affirmed that the discipline of the violating party members continued, investigates, and adjudicates cases according to law provisions during the past time proving that the Party “says and does” according to people’s wishes. He said:
“Recently, the CPV Central Committee vows not to slow down in fighting corruption before the congress but also strives to maintain stronger and more drastic measures. This is strongly supported by the people. This work has been proven that over the past year, anti-corruption has been pushed up a step with many very serious cases. Those of high ranks have also been prosecuted. That strengthens the people’s confidence in the party, not reduces the party’s prestige. It shows what the party said and did following the people’s recommendations.”
How does the party regain the confidence of the people?
Clause 2, Article 4 of the 2013 Vietnamese Constitution constitutes: The Communist Party of Vietnam is the ruling party, the leader of the State and society. The party leads the political system and is part of that system at the same time. The Party is closely associated with the people, respects and promotes the people’s mastery, relies on the people to build the Party, is subject to the supervision of the people, operates within the framework of the Constitution and the law.
Although the Constitution clearly states that the party must be subject to the supervision of the people, in reality, this is not the case. Doctor Dinh Duc Long affirmed that the authoritarian party is very difficult to maintain prestige because the ‘people do not have the right to supervise in practice.
As for Professor Nguyen Dinh Cong, in order to gain the confidence of the people, the party must change from a ruling party to a ruling political party, and Singapore’s People’s Action Party is a model. According to him, first of all, the party must do two things: The first is to return political power to the people (so that the people organize the election of a National Assembly that truly represents the wisdom of the people). The second is to be open and transparent in activities, to allow freedom of thought, freedom of expression, freedom to exercise human rights, and civil rights.
Former National Assembly member Le Van Cuong believes that the party is focusing on building a strategic team that his moral qualities, capacity, and reputation among the people. If there is this contingent, the party’s prestige among the people will increase. He said:
“Through the recent anti-corruption work, I see that a number of corrupt Party members have undermined people’s confidence in the Party. Therefore, in order to strengthen this belief and to successfully fight corruption, first of all, a strategic team must be built. In particular, the Central Committee must be the people who are not only the elite of the country but must be truly exemplary, really have good moral qualities, have a high reputation among the people and have leadership talent.”
On the morning of December 18, 2020, the 14th Plenum of the CPV’s Central Committee had a closing session. The meeting ended earlier than planned and before the 13th Congress, there will be the 15th plenum to decide on the personnel plan.
Mr. General Secretary cum State President Nguyen Phu Trong again asked the Central Committee to put the interests of the nation and the people first in the voting to introduce personnel to the Politburo and the Secretariat of the 13th tenure!