In most other countries, we’d look at something along the lines of a general election. But in Vietnam, the country has a communist government, and leadership is done differently, Andreas Illmer reports on BBC.
Why is Vietnam important?
The country is one of Asia’s fastest growing economies and a linchpin of stability in the region.
The government of Vietnam has successfully established ties with both China and the US, putting the country into a very good strategic position.
Economically, Vietnam has good relations with both of those superpowers – and the current trade dispute between Beijing and Washington has put it into an even better position.
Many multinationals now operate in Vietnam, including global tech giants like Apple, Samsung, Toyota, etc.
It’s also the only country in South East Asia which managed to minimize the economic damage from Covid-19 and managed moderate growth during the past year.
How is Vietnam governed?
Vietnam does not have a single strongman at the helm. There are four main jobs that collectively are running the show: The Communist Party General Secretary, the Prime Minister, the President and the Chair of the National Assembly.
The vote for those four important positions moves upward along a pyramid. Every five years, about 1,600 delegates vote some 200 members into the Central Committee. That committee then picks the politburo of about 20. Out of those, the four top jobs are nominated.
The challenges for new leadership
The new leadership will have to look at the crucial next five years. The global pandemic is expected to pull much of the world into a recession and Vietnam will try to retain its growth.
Just late last year, the growth target for 2021 was set at an ambitious 6.5%. In 2020, it had slowed to 2.9%, the lowest level in more than 30 years – but the country is still doing better than most of the rest of the world.
Last year’s slower growth was of course largely due to the pandemic, and it seems certain that 2021’s growth will again be held back by the virus, according to BBC