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Party watchdog identifies misconduct by senior Da Nang officials

Released at: 11:35, 19/09/2017

Party watchdog identifies misconduct by senior Da Nang officials

Mr. Nguyen Xuan Anh, Da Nang's Party Chief. Photo: tinmoi.vn

Misconduct, mismanagement, and dishonesty found in Central Inspection Commission's investigations in central city.

by Quang Huy

The Central Inspection Commission announced on September 18 that it has uncovered misconduct, mismanagement, and dishonesty by the two senior officials in the central city of Da Nang.

A report from the Commission found that Da Nang’s Communist Party unit had not “strictly followed” regulations set by the Party, including principles on “democratic centralism”. It criticized the local unit for “loose leadership” over land management, including illegal and unauthorized decisions regarding land allocated for business use.

The Commission recommended disciplinary action against Nguyen Xuan Anh, Da Nang’s Party Chief, and Huynh Duc Tho, the city’s Chairman, for serious violations that “sparked annoyance among Communist Party members, State officials, and the public.”

Anh, who also chairs the municipal legislature, is accused of flouting the Party’s democratic centralism principles by making many decisions without consulting others, as well as of personal misconduct. He also set a bad example by accepting a motor car and houses as gifts from businesses, according to the Commission.

Records show that Anh enrolled in a master’s program in business administration at the US’s California Southern University from March 2001 to September 2002. From March 2005 to December 2006, he completed a doctorate program and earned a PhD in business administration from the same university. In October 2007, the Southern California University for Professional Studies (SCUPS) was renamed California Southern University, whose degrees are not recognized by Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training.

Last year, the office of the Da Nang Party Committee received a Toyota Avalon worth VND1.3 billion ($57,194) from Minh Hung Phat, a local company, which was later used for Secretary Anh’s commute to work. Following fierce public backlash, as well as in accordance with a directive from Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the vehicle was returned last March.

Anh, as a leader, is also responsible for multiple wrongdoings committed by the Standing Board of the Da Nang Party Committee during the 2015-20 term, namely rotating and appointing some officials, against the Party’s regulations. Lax management and supervision of the municipal Party Committee regarding land and urban order also resulted in various negativities, upsetting local residents, inspectors said.

Tho, 55, is held primarily accountable for violations in land management in the city. He is also the Deputy Chief of the city’s Party unit. Last month, a criminal probe was opened after Tho and other city leaders received death threats, including from an executive of PetroVietnam in Da Nang. The latter said he was angry because his villa on Son Tra Peninsula had been requisitioned to make way for a tourism development.

The tourism plan for Son Tra drew widespread criticism when it was floated in March. The city had planned to develop a resort on around 2,900 ha, or around half of the peninsula’s area, which is home to the largest langur population in the country. The city only agreed to hold back and review the plan after both tourism and conservation experts voiced their opposition, prompting Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam to step in.

The Central Inspection Commission considers these offenses serious and affecting the trust of the people, requiring “disciplinary measures” in response.

Anh is the son of Nguyen Van Chi, an ex-Politburo Member who formerly chaired the Central Inspection Commission. Anh was elected Da Nang’s Party Chief in October 2015 at the age of 39 and became one of the two youngest Party Chiefs in Vietnam, joining Nguyen Thanh Nghi in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang. Nghi is the son of former Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

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