Duong Trung Quoc says it is time for the leader to go
Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung received a rare call to resign yesterday from a member of the National Assembly in the latest challenge to his increasingly embattled premiership.
Deputy Doung Trung Quoc of southern Dong Nai province told the prime minister it was time for action rather than words after a series of apologies over Vietnam's stalling economy amid high inflation and the continuing weakness of the local currency.
“You should take this chance to show your determination in repairing your mistakes by stopping to say sorry, replacing it with a new practice that’s more suitable to a modern culture – which is a culture of resignation – so that our high-ranking officials can do as other modern countries do,” said Quoc, a historian and one of only a small number of lawmakers who is not a member of the Communist Party.
The National Assembly’s session was broadcast live by the state-run Vietnam Television and the Voice of Vietnam radio station.
Responding to the rare public criticism, Dung said: "The party assigned me to continue to be the prime minister and I have already taken this position," adding that he has served as a Communist party member for 51 years. "I did not lobby, I did not ask for, nor refuse, any assignment given by the party and the state.”
Premier Dung issued a rare apology in parliament at the end of last month over what is increasingly being viewed as his government’s wayward handling of the economy in recent years.
The National Assembly is currently looking over a resolution that may force senior leaders to win a vote of confidence to keep their positions but exactly how the measure would work – if passed – remains unclear.
Vietnam is currently battling slow economic growth, high inflation, falling foreign direct investment and rising concern over the high level of debt in its fragile banking system.
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