Vietnam Appoints Police Minister To Lam as State President Amid Political Turbulence

Vietnam’s police minister To Lam was elected as the state president by the parliament, signaling a potential path for Lam to vie for the chief position in the ruling Communist Party. The appointment follows the recent selection of Tran Thanh Man as the new chairman of the National Assembly, which may signal a pause in the political unrest that led to the departure of three of Vietnam’s top leaders due to unspecified misconduct.

As is customary in Vietnam’s one-party system, Lam’s selection was confirmed through unanimous voting after being nominated by the Communist Party and being the sole candidate for the position. The 66-year-old, known for spearheading an anti-corruption drive named the “blazing furnace,” is perceived as addressing widespread graft while also facing criticism for potentially using the campaign to sideline political adversaries.

The appointment of Lam is seen as a move to ease political tensions and regain foreign investors’ confidence, as recent political developments have led to a decrease in securities holdings and stalled public administration processes, including the utilization of foreign aid and public funds.

While the state president role is largely symbolic, it is one of Vietnam’s top four political positions alongside the party chief, prime minister, and parliament speaker. Analysts anticipate a temporary reduction in political discord with Lam’s election, although the focus shifts to the forthcoming struggle for leadership as party chief Nguyen Phu Trong approaches the conclusion of his third term in 2026 or potentially earlier, should he resign before his tenure ends.