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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
02HANOI1760
2002-07-12 09:50:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Hanoi
Cable title:  

LEADERSHIP RUMBLINGS

Tags:   PGOV  PINR  PINS  ECON  PREL  VM  DPOL 
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2002HANOI01760 - CONFIDENTIAL
 
 
 
                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5890

PAGE 01        HANOI  01760  01 OF 02  120956Z 
ACTION EAP-00   

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    ACQ-00   CIAE-00  COME-00  DODE-00  DOTE-00  
      PERC-00  DS-00    EB-00    FAAE-00  FBIE-00  VC-00    TEDE-00  
      INR-00   VCE-00   NSAE-00  PM-00    IRM-00   TRSE-00  PMB-00   
      DSCC-00  DRL-02   NFAT-00  SAS-00     /002W
                  ------------------CA3818  120956Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6994
INFO AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH 
AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE 
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 001760 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/12/12
TAGS: PGOV PINR PINS ECON PREL VM DPOL
SUBJECT: LEADERSHIP RUMBLINGS

REF: HANOI 1666



1. (U) CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR RAYMOND BURGHARDT,
REASON: 1.5 (D)



2. (C) SUMMARY. THE LEADERSHIP TURNOVER AT THE 11TH
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY (NA) COULD BE BROADER THAN EARLIER
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HANOI 01760 01 OF 02 120956Z
EXPECTED AS THE PARTY SEEKS TO DEMONSTRATE ITS
VIGILANCE AGAINST CORRUPTION. UNDER ONE SCENARIO, THE
NA CHAIRMAN COULD BE FORCED OUT AND REPLACED BY CURRENT
PRIME MINISTER KHAI, WHILE HCMC CHIEF TRIET TAKES OVER
THE TOP GOVERNMENT JOB. SENIOR LEVEL CHANGES AT THE
MINISTRY OF PUBLIC SECURITY, INCLUDING POSSIBLY THE 66-
YEAR OLD MINISTER, ARE ALSO LIKELY. NO FACTS ARE YET
AVAILABLE, BUT THE VIVID RUMOR MILL IS A RESULT OF THE
CLOSED NATURE OF THIS SOCIETY AS WELL AS AN INDICATION
OF AT LEAST SOME ELITE DISSATISFACTION WITH PERCEIVED
CORRUPT ACTIVITIES OF SOME SENIOR LEADERS. MAJOR POLICY
SHIFTS THAT WOULD AFFECT US INTERESTS REMAIN UNLIKELY
EVEN UNDER SUCH SCENARIOS. END SUMMARY.



3. (C) ACCORDING TO NOTED PRO-DEMOCRACY AND ANTI-
CORRUPTION ACTIVIST DR. NGUYEN THANH GIANG (PLEASE
PROTECT), THE FALLOUT FROM THE NAM CAM CORRUPTION CASE
CONTINUES TO AFFECT LAST-MINUTE DECISION-MAKING AT THE
ONGOING 6TH PARTY PLENUM IN PREPARATION FOR THE OPENING
OF THE 11TH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY (REFTEL), WHICH HAS NOW
BEEN RESCHEDULED TO BEGIN ON JULY 17. GIANG TOLD POL/C
AND POLOFF ON JULY 12 THAT HE BELIEVES PERSONNEL SHIFTS
COULD BE EVEN MORE EXTENSIVE THAN EARLIER EXPECTED.
HIS SOURCES TELL HIM THAT NATIONAL ASSEMBLY CHAIRMAN
NGUYEN VAN AN HAS RECENTLY BEEN ACCUSED OF ACCEPTING
BRIBES FROM NAM CAM SEVERAL YEARS AGO IN HIS CAPACITY AS CHIEF
OF THE PARTY'S PERSONNEL AND ORGANIZATION COMMISSION;
AN MAY NOW BE FORCED TO STEP DOWN, CONTRARY TO EARLIER
PREDICTIONS.



4. (C) GIANG SAID THAT, UNDER THIS SCENARIO, PRIME
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HANOI 01760 01 OF 02 120956Z
MINISTER PHAN VAN KHAI -- PREDICTED BY MOST OBSERVERS
TO REMAIN IN OFFICE, BUT ONLY FOR 1-2 MORE YEARS --
WOULD MOVE OVER TO TAKE AN'S PLACE. GIANG NOTED THAT
KHAI'S OWN REPUTATION IS INCREASINGLY SOILED BY THE
ACTIVITIES OF KHAI'S SON, A RUMOR WE HAVE ALSO HEARD
FROM OTHER HANOI RESIDENTS. WIVES OF AT LEAST FIVE
PROMINENT SENIOR PARTY FIGURES, INCLUDING AN, KHAI,
FORMER PRIME MINISTER VO VAN KIET, AND MPS' HUONG, ARE
ALSO ALLEGED TO HAVE HAD LINKS WITH NAM CAM DIRECTLY OR
INDIRECTLY, GIANG ADDED.



5. (C) IF KHAI MOVES TO THE NA, GIANG PREDICTED THAT
HO CHI MINH CITY PARTY CHIEF NGUYEN MINH TRIET WOULD
TAKE OVER AS PRIME MINISTER. ALTHOUGH MANY OBSERVERS
HAVE SUGGESTED THAT THE NAM CAM CASE WOULD HURT TRIET
GIVEN THE HCMC NEXUS, GIANG STRESSED THAT NAM CAM'S

MOST NOTORIOUS ACTIVITIES TOOK PLACE BEFORE TRIET MOVED
TO HCMC, AND THAT HIS ARREST ACTUALLY HAPPENED ON
TRIET'S WATCH. ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION AGAINST THE
OTHER MAIN CONTENDER FOR THE PM SLOT, DEPUTY PRIME
MINISTER NGUYEN TAN DUNG, HAVE HURT THE LATTER'S
CHANCES, GIANG NOTED.



6. (C) GIANG ALSO EXPRESSED CERTAINTY THAT MINISTER
OF PUBLIC SECURITY LT. GENERAL LE MINH HUONG WOULD ALSO
BE FORCED TO RETIRE DUE TO THE NAM CAM CASE, ALONG WITH
ONE OR TWO DEPUTY MINISTERS. (NOTE: ADDITIONALLY,
GENERAL HUONG MAY HAVE HEALTH PROBLEMS; HE SEEMED
NOTABLY PALSIED DURING AMBASSADOR'S MAY 14 MEETING WITH
HIM. END NOTE) HE PREDICTED THAT HUONG'S REPLACEMENT
WOULD BE POLITBURO SECRETARIAT MEMBER TRUONG VINH
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HANOI 01760 01 OF 02 120956Z
TRONG. SEPARATELY, A SENIOR EDITOR AT QUAN DOI NHAN
DAN (PEOPLE'S ARMY) HAD PREDICTED TO POL/C ON JULY 4
THAT AN "OUTSIDER" WOULD MOVE IN TO TAKE OVER MPS AS
ONE OF THE "SURPRISES" AT THIS YEAR'S NA OPENING
SESSION.



7. (C) OTHER SOURCES HAVE SPECULATED THAT CURRENT
FOREIGN MINISTER NGUYEN DY NIEN MAY MOVE TO THE NA AS
VICE CHAIRMAN, WITH CURRENT MINISTER OF TRADE VU KHOAN
TAKING OVER THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS PORTFOLIO AS WELL AS
THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER SLOT TO BE VACATED BY NGUYEN
MANH CAM.



8. (C) COMMENT: IN A CLOSED SOCIETY LIKE VIETNAM'S,
THE RUMOR MILL IS HARD AT WORK TRYING TO FIGURE OUT
WHAT IS GOING ON BEHIND THE OPAQUE WALLS OF THE
RECLUSIVE COMMUNIST PARTY. WHILE THE PARTY SEEKS TO
MAKE A GOOD SHOW OF GOING AFTER CORRUPT OFFICIALS,
THESE KIND OF RUMORS INDICATE THAT AT LEAST SOME WELL-
CONNECTED HANOI RESIDENTS ARE DISSATISFIED WITH MANY IN
THE LEADERSHIP AND BELIEVE CORRUPTION TO REACH THE VERY
TOP. BARRING A FULL HOUSE-CLEANING -- WHICH REMAINS

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ5891

PAGE 01 HANOI 01760 02 OF 02 120956Z
ACTION EAP-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 COME-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00
DS-00 EB-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00
VCE-00 NSAE-00 TRSE-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 NFAT-00 SAS-00
/002W


--------------------------

CA381F 120957Z /38
R 120950Z JUL 02
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6995
INFO AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HANOI 001760

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV

EXTREMELY UNLIKELY -- IT WILL BE DIFFICULT FOR THE
PARTY TO RESTORE CONFIDENCE THAT IT IS MOVING
EFFECTIVELY AGAINST CORRUPT OFFICIALS. THE PARTY WILL
ALSO NEED TO WALK A FINE LINE IN ORDER TO PROJECT AN
IMAGE OF STABILITY WHILE AT THE SAME TIME SHUFFLING THE
LEADERSHIP DECK TO ADDRESS SUCH CONCERNS. THE BOTTOM
LINE FOR US INTERESTS REMAINS THAT NO COMBINATION OF
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HANOI 01760 02 OF 02 120956Z
LEADERSHIP SHIFTS IS LIKELY TO RESULT IN MAJOR
DEVIATIONS BY THE PARTY AND GVN FROM THE CURRENT
CAUTIOUSLY PRO-DEVELOPMENTAL AND PRO-ECONOMIC REFORM
PATH.
BURGHARDT

CONFIDENTIAL