With his rise to the Vietnamese presidency, Nguyen Phu Trong became the latest in a series of Asian leaders to consolidate power. Like China’s Xi Jinping, who has amassed the greatest amount of power in China since Mao Zedong, Trong is set to become the most powerful figure in Vietnamese politics since Ho Chi Minh and Truong Chinh.
Vietnam is controlled by a committee, which is made up of four posts, typically held by four different individuals, in order to avoid any one person wielding too much influence. These positions include the National Assembly Chair, Prime Minister, President, and the National Communist Party General Secretary. Nguyen Phu Trong has held the National Communist Party General Secretary position since 2011, and on October 23, 2018, after the death of President Tran Dai Quang, he was elected as the next President of Vietnam.
This ascent has led to comparisons to China’s Xi Jinping, who currently serves as the General Secretary of China’s Communist Party and as the President of China, who had the Chinese presidential term limits abolished last year, allowing him to remain president for life.
It is so far unknown what Trong will do with his new power, but the trend of strongmen leaders is a growing one, and possibly a lasting development.
Image courtesy of The World Bank Photo Collection at Flickr