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The Vietnamese Communist Party said on Wednesday it had accepted the resignation of President Vo Van Thuong, amid an intense anti-graft campaign and growing political instability that could harm the country’s attractiveness to foreign investors, the Associated Press reported.

Thuong stepped down after a little over a year in the position, becoming the second president to leave office in two years. A statement by the Communist Party said that “violations by Vo Van Thuong have left a bad mark on the reputation” of the party.

The exact nature of the violations is unknown. Nonetheless, Thuong’s departure from office came after weeks of speculation over his removal by the party, ahead of an extraordinary session of Vietnam’s rubber-stamp parliament. Rumors intensified after police arrested the chief of Central Vietnam’s Quang Ngai province on allegations of corruption, days before the president’s resignation.

Presidents in Vietnam hold largely ceremonial positions and rank third among the four leading political figures of the country. At the top is the Communist Party’s General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, 79, who has led an intense anti-corruption campaign.

In March 2023, Vo Van Thuong replaced Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who resigned to “take responsibility” for corruption scandals during the Covid-19 pandemic. A protégé of Trong, Thuong at 54 became the youngest president since Vietnam’s reunification in 1976.

His resignation shows the reach of Trong’s anti-graft campaign, which critics suspected of being used to eliminate political rivals.

Analysts said it also signaled political instability, which could harm Vietnam’s reputation among foreign investors. When Thuong’s resignation appeared to be imminent on Monday, the Ho Chi Minh City stock exchange fell by nearly 3 percent in early trading, Reuters reported.

Vietnam stands in the middle of a race for influence between neighboring China and the US, insisting on striking a balance between the two countries. It has also attracted businesses looking to shift their supply chains away from China.

Foreign investors and envoys have criticized the campaign, saying it further slowed decisions made in the country, already burdened by heavy bureaucracy.

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