HANOI, Vietnam – Top Vietnamese Communist Party officials ended a two-week meeting Monday without directly censuring the under-fire prime minister, appearing to secure his position for the near future.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung had been under pressure going into the meeting of the party's Central Committee because of corruption scandals involving state-owned companies and a slowdown in the once red-hot economy. Some analysts had speculated that Dung could be forced to resign during the meeting.
Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong said in a televised speech Monday that the party "sincerely admitted" its mistakes in relation to corruption involving some of its members. He didn't elaborate. The statement was seen as a rebuke to Dung, but not the direct censure that some in the party elite were reported to have been favoring.
Dung was appointed prime minister in 2006 amid hopes that he would press ahead with economic and political reforms. But those hopes faded with the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008. Dung has been criticized on blogs for alleged nepotism and corruption and is under pressure to rein in state-owned companies that owe millions to the country's shaky banks. Under Dung's leadership the government has also stepped up its campaign against dissidents and democracy activists. Scores have been arrested.