Monday, February 6, 2012

Trương Tấn Sang

Trương Tn Sang (born on 21 January 1949) is the president of Vietnam and the senior member of the Politburo, the executive committee of the ruling Communist Party. He was ranked as the party's number one leader following the 11th National Congress held in Hanoi in January 2011. He became state president following a vote of the National Assembly in July. Sang has been a member of the politburo since 1996. He was party secretary for Ho Chi Minh City from 1996 to 2000. He was promoted to the national party’s number two slot, just behind the party general secretary, in October 2009. To get the top slot, he had to outmaneuver Prime Minister Nguyn Tn Dũng.

Sang was born January 21, 1949, in M Hnh, Đc Hòa, Long An. His nickname is “Tư Sang”. He joined the Communist Party on December 20, 1969. He was jailed by the South Vietnamese government in 1971 and held in Phú Quc Prison. He was released under the Paris Peace Treaty in 1973. He has a bachelor of law degree.

From 1983 to 1986, he headed Ho Chi Minh City’s Forestry Department, as well as the city’s New Economic Zone Development Department. In 1986, he was promoted to the Standing Board of the city’s Party Committee. In 1992, he became party chairman for Ho Chi Minh City, the number two position in the city government. He joined the politburo in 1996 as its 14th ranking member. He was party secretary for Ho Chi Minh City, the top position in the city government, from 1996 to 2000. He was promoted to 10th position in the national party at a congress in April 2001. He was also appointed head of the party’s economic commission at this time. In 2003, he was reprimanded for failing from to act in the Năm Cam corruption scandal when he headed the city government. He was promoted to fifth position in the party at a congress in April 2006. At this congress, he was also appointed head of the party’s Secretariat, which supervises the membership and internal structure of the party.

In an unusual move, Sang was promoted to the party’s number two slot between congresses in October 2009. His authority soon "eclipsed" that of General Secretary Nông Đc Mnh, the only person nominally above Sang in the party hierarchy, according to a leaked diplomatic cable by U.S. Ambassador Michael Michalak. Sang "assumed many of Manh's normal responsibilities," Michalak wrote. At diplomatic meetings, Sang could, "comment authoritatively, in detail and without notes", whereas Mnh "appeared disengaged" while he read a 30-minute prepared statement "verbatim and in a monotone." To get the top slot at the 2011 congress, Sang had to outmaneuver Prime Minister Dũng. Little of this rivalry was reported in the press, but observers described the relationship between the two men as "stormy," according to a BBC story. Michalak described both Sang and Dũng as “pragmatic” and “market-oriented”. Both are southerners, but traditionally the party's top slot has gone to a northerner. Nguyn Phú Trng, a northerner, was selected secretary general at the Congress. In the past, the office of general secretary was the party’s top position, but Trong is ranked only No. 8 on the leadership list. The National Assembly elected Sang as state president on 25 July 2011 with 97.4 percent of the vote. The term of office is five years.

Sang told the Assembly that he would defend Vietnam’s independence and territorial integrity, and would resolve the Spratly Islands dispute with China peacefully. As the new president, he will work to set a foundation that will allow Vietnam to be become an industrialized and modernized country by 2020, Sang told the Assembly.

The President of Vietnam is merely a ceremonial position, but Sang’s authority derives from his position as the senior member of the Politburo and as standing member of the Secretariat of the Vietnamese Communist Party Central Committee.

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