Vietnam President Nguyen Xuan Phuc resigned on Tuesday after the Communist party found him responsible for the wrongdoings of junior officials.
State media reported Phuc’s resignation on Tuesday.
The 68-year-old former prime minister was declared responsible for the “violations and wrongdoing” of officials that had been working under him at the time, according to the country’s official news agency.
“Fully being aware of his responsibilities before the party and people, he submitted an application to resign from his assigned positions, quit his job and retire,” the Vietnam News Agency said.
Two deputy prime ministers who were working under Phuc, Pham Binh Minh and Vu Duc Dam, were dismissed prior to Phuc’s resignation during an anti-corruption removal.
Phuc, whose position was largely ceremonial, was held responsible when “several officials, including two deputy prime ministers and three ministers committed violations and shortcomings, causing very serious consequences,” said the Vietnam News Agency, citing the Communist Party’s Central Committee.
Vietnam is headed by four “pillars”: the powerful party’s secretary, the president, the prime minister and the chair of the assembly.
Phuc held the position of prime minister from 2016 to 2021 and was elected president in April 2021.
The government commended his previous achievements despite the current situation.
“He has made great efforts in leading, directing and administering the COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control, achieving important results,” the government said on Tuesday.
In communist Vietnam, where political shifts are usually carefully managed in order to maintain stability, a sudden departure of the president is highly unusual.
A rare meeting will take place this week in which the legislature will discuss the approval of Phuc’s resignation.
A replacement for Phuc has not yet been announced, although three frontrunners are rumored to be in consideration: General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, the current Minister of National Defence Phan Van Giang and To Lam, the current minister of public security.