Tran Dai Quang had an honorary role, but he was one of the key men of the authoritarian communist regime. Under his tenure, he suppressed any discordant voice.
A conservative figure in the communist regime, Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang died Friday at the age of 61, state state media said. He had been seriously ill for months, but continued to perform his official duties despite his state of visible fatigue.
Tran Dai Quang was one of the country’s top three leaders, but his role was especially honorific. The country is officially led by the president, the prime minister, and the general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (PCV), Nguyen Phu Trong, who is actually the true number one of the regime. The disappearance of the president is not likely to destabilize the communist power, which has reigned over the country for decades, and has had time to prepare.
Beyond his ceremonial obligations, Tran Dai Quang was one of the key men of the authoritarian regime. Originally from a peasant village 115 kilometers south of Hanoi, he had climbed the party ladder, becoming a police general and a member of the powerful Political Bureau of the PCV, the center of power.
Actor of the hardening of the regime
His appointment in 2016 – along with that of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc – confirmed the conservatives’ political dominance after a PCV Congress marked by intense rivalry between conservatives and reformers. It was the first time in Vietnam that a police general was elected president (by a National Assembly on the orders of the Party).
Actor of the hardening of the regime, this former Minister of Public Security will have marked his mandate by repressing any discordant voice. Dozens of political opponents, bloggers or journalists are currently detained in the country.