September 29, 2022
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Vietnam sacks health minister amid anti-graft drive

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Deputies attend the opening ceremony of the National Assembly’s autumn session in Hanoi, Vietnam October 23, 2017. REUTERS/Kham

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HANOI, June 7 (Reuters) – Vietnam on Tuesday dismissed its health minister Nguyen Thanh Long, after he was accused of violating the ruling Communist Party’s rules and allegedly causing losses to the state budget, state media reported.

The sacking of the minister comes amid an intensifying anti-corruption drive in the Southeast Asian country that was launched in 2016.

Dozens of senior health officials have been arrested in recent weeks, accused of wrongdoings in medical equipment procurement, including COVID-19 test kits. Senior finance and diplomatic officials have also been targeted, and many have faced trials and been jailed.

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The National Assembly, the country’s lawmaking body, voted on Tuesday to remove Long, 55, from the position of health minister, which he assumed in 2020, Voice of Vietnam Radio reported.

The Communist Party of Vietnam on Monday also decided to expel Long, according to a government news release.

The government said Long has “degraded in political ideology, violated the party’s regulations and caused losses to the state budget”.

Calls to Long’s phone went unanswered.

The Ministry of Health has assigned its deputy minister Do Xuan Tuyen as the acting minister, official Vietnam News Agency cited the ministry as saying.

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Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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