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Vietnam president Nguyen Phu Trong to make appearance ‘soon’: HCMC leader

Wednesday, May 08, 2019, 11:42 GMT+7
Vietnam president Nguyen Phu Trong to make appearance ‘soon’: HCMC leader
Nguyen Thien Nhan, secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee, shakes hands with voters at a voters’ meeting in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City on May 7, 2019. Photo: Tu Trung / Tuoi Tre

Vietnamese Party chief and State President Nguyen Phu Trong is expected to make an appearance at an early date after taking some time off work due to health issues, Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan told voters on Tuesday.

“The General Secretary’s health is improving,” Nhan told the audience of a voters’ meeting in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday, referring to President Trong’s official title in the Communist Party of Vietnam.

“When it comes to health, each of us has a different recovery rate so it’s impossible to give a specific date, but I believe voters will soon see the General Secretary make an appearance and be back to work,” Nhan said.

Nguyen Thien Nhan, secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee, speaks at a voters’ meeting in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City on May 7, 2019. Video: Mai Hoa / Tuoi Tre

Nhan was answering a question raised by one of his constituents Le Thanh Tung, who asked for updates on the condition of President Trong.

Last month, foreign ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang told reporters “a heavy workload and extreme weather” had affected the health of the Vietnamese head of state, addressing rumor that he had health issues after a working trip to the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang in mid-April.

President Trong was in Kien Giang on April 13-14 to discuss the implementation of socio-economic, security, and national defense initiatives with local officials.

“He will return to normal work soon,” Hang said.

4/ Vietnamese Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong delivers a televised Lunar New Year address to the nation on February 5, 2019. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

Vietnamese Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong delivers a televised Lunar New Year address to the nation on February 5, 2019. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

On April 27, the Vietnam News Agency reported that President Trong would lead the funeral organizing committee for the national mourning of late President Le Duc Anh on May 3-4.

“However, [President Trong] was not seen at the state funeral of late General Le Duc Anh despite being the head of its organizing committee,” Tung said at the voters’ meeting on Tuesday.

“We demand that the condition of comrade Nguyen Phu Trong be made clear,” he added.

“It’s not a good idea to leave Internet users to speculate [about the President’s health], and we can’t prohibit them from speaking their minds either,” the voter stressed.

Le Thanh Tung, a voter in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, asks for updates on the condition of Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong during a voters’ meeting on May 7, 2019. Photo: Tu Trung / Tuoi Tre

Le Thanh Tung, a voter in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, asks for updates on the condition of Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong during a voters’ meeting on May 7, 2019. Photo: Tu Trung / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Phu Trong, 75, became State President of Vietnam in October 2018 after the death of his predecessor, late State President Tran Dai Quang.

He is also General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, a position he has held since 2011.

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