Vietnam: 70,000 Communist Party members guilty

Ulhas Joglekar ulhasj at SPAMbom4.vsnl.net.in
Mon Feb 19 17:25:03 MST 2001


Thursday
15 February 2001

70,000 Communist Party members guilty: Report
HANOI: Nearly 70,000 Communist Party members, including senior government
officials, were found guilty of corruption over the past five years, the
official media reported on Wednesday.
The number of party members disciplined in the 1996-2001 period has dropped
by 16 percent although the violations they have been punished for are more
serious, the Communist Party daily Nhan Dan said.
The findings were released at a two-day national conference of the Communist
Party's inspectors, which found the main problems were embezzlement and
financial mismanagement.
The Communist Party is experiencing unprecedented internal debate as it
prepares for an important Party Congress in late March. Leaders have
admitted a campaign against party corruption has been ineffective.
A shake-up of the party's largely elderly leadership, including current
Communist Party chief Le Kha Phieu and Prime Minster Phan Van Khai, is
expected at the congress.
In an oblique reference to recent mass protests by ethnic minorities in the
Central Highlands, a politburo member at the conference urged local
authorities to examine and expedite public complaints.
"People lost confidence in the party organizations when the inspections were
not well conducted," politburo member Pham The Duyet was quoted as saying by
Nhan Dan.
"When there were complaints which attract many people in these places, the
authorities became helpless and local leaders were denounced while some bad
elements abused democracy to incite people," he said.
The protests involving thousands of villagers earlier this month were fueled
by land grievances and religious tensions. It was seemingly the most serious
civil unrest in Vietnam in several years.
Phap Luat (Law) newspaper reported that party inspectors found 43 percent of
the 160,000 party members inspected nationwide - about 69,000 people - were
guilty of corruption. One third of the 2,000 party organizations
investigated were also found tainted by graft.
Party members can be punished for a wide range of transgressions, ranging
from having too many children to engaging in private business and
corruption.
More than 100 senior officials have been disciplined, but there were cases
of senior officials getting off lightly while lower-ranking officials were
dealt with harshly, Nhan Dan reported. (AP)

For reprint rights:Times Syndication Service








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