Vietnam PM dealt rare blow in vote

Vietnam PM dealt rare blow in vote

HANOI - Reuters
Vietnam PM dealt rare blow in vote

PM Nguyen Tan Dung (L) is under pressure for greater accountability. AFP photo

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung was dealt a rare public blow yesterday, winning the full support of less than half of members of a Parliament dominated by his ruling Communist Party in the country’s first-ever confidence vote.

The former central bank governor got votes of “high confidence” from 210 members of the 498-seat national assembly, with 160 passing votes of “low confidence” in a rare show of public scrutiny of Vietnam’s leaders.

The confidence vote follows a call from the president last year for greater accountability amid simmering public anger over mismanagement and corruption.

Although Dung passed the test, analysts said the lukewarm response from members of a party that traditionally rallies behind its leaders demonstrated discontent with the government’s handling of entrenched graft and a once thriving economy stagnating under the weight of bad debt.

According to parliamentary law, any top officials receiving low confidence votes from two-thirds of the house must resign or face a second vote on their leadership.