Nguyễn Bá Thanh

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Nguyễn Bá Thanh (born 1953) is a Vietnamese politician. He is party secretary and people's council president in Da Nang (two of the three top leadership positions), member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam and head of the PCC Internal Affairs Commission, a central committee consulting agency for internal policies and strategies.[1]

His former position was the President of People's Committee of Danang City. He is considered by Vietnamese top leaders[who?] as a successful leader in Da Nang, his achievements are largely urban planning, relocation implementation[citation needed].


Da Nang has been planned and expanded during the last 10 years, nearly one-third of the city-dwellers have been relocated for urban planning[citation needed]. Due to this fact, Nguyen Ba Thanh has been sued by several city-dwellers[citation needed] but official investigations have shown that all that he has been carried out are in accordance with the laws and he was elected to the National Assembly[citation needed].

Nguyen Ba Thanh is said to be related to a major corruption case, in which the contractor building the Han River Bridge, Pham Minh Thong, was arrested.[2] According to Radio Free Asia, the People's Procuracy of Danang City concluded in the Document No. 73/KSDT-KT (on October, 2000) and Document No. 77/KSDT/KT (November, 2000) sent to the Supreme People's Procuracy of Vietnam and Mr. Phan Dien (the then Secretary of Communist Party Committee of Danang) that Nguyen Ba Thanh received bribes from Pham Minh Thong (4.4 billion VND in total) in the construction projects of Han River Bridge and North-South Street in Danang.[2] However, the case was eventually dropped, the mass media (which, according to Human Rights Watch, are all strictly controlled by the government[3]) were censored, and instead, they even praised him for his "many contributions" in the development of Danang City.[2]

It is also stated in the article that recent reports from the Central Directing Office of Anti-Corruption submitted to the Prime Minister of Vietnam and the Secretary of the Central Committee of Communist Party of Vietnam confirmed that the accusations of Nguyen Ba Thanh's acts of corruption by some Danang citizens are legitimate.[2] In addition, two conclusions of inspection by the Ministry of Public Security indicated sufficient grounds to open the case, but Police Department of Danang city still have not prosecuted Nguyen Ba Thanh to investigate.[2]

In 2009, several high-ranking Vietnamese police officers, including Major General Tran Van Thanh (Chief Inspector of the Ministry of Public Security of Vietnam), Lieutenant Colonel Duong Ngoc Tien (Chief Representative of Ho Chi Minh City Police's Newspaper in Hanoi), and a former police major were arrested and sentenced to jail.[4][5] All of them were accused for "abusing democratic freedoms of association, expression, assembly to infringe on the interests of the state",[6] which is a fairly common crime in Vietnam, as in reports by Human Rights Watch.[7] According to an article from Radio Free Asia, general Tran Van Thanh was fighting against corruption and trying to expose Nguyen Ba Thanh, unsuccessfully.[2]

Dr. Cu Huy Ha Vu, a Ph.D in Law, who is the son and nephew of two famous Vietnamese poets (Cu Huy Can and Ngo Xuan Dieu), has commented in some interviews that he believes this case was created to punish anti-corruption activists, and that "police general Tran Van Thanh had directed the investigation of corruption cases directly related to Mr. Nguyen Ba Thanh (who at that time was President of People's Committee of Danang City)". Dr. Vu also claimed that this court is the revenge of Nguyen Ba Thanh.[8]

Talking to Radio Free Asia, Mr. Do Xuan Hien, a former Head of Economics in Da Nang and General District Commissioner, revealed how Nguyen Ba Thanh became rich through urban planning and relocation implementation: "Nguyen Ba Thanh took the land from people, for each square meter he gave them only 19,500 VND as compensation, while having demanded 150,000 VND per m² for himself from contractors, try asking a how many times fold! Thus is it corruption, bribery or not?"[9] According to an annual report of Human Rights Watch, land seizures and local corruption are the main grievances in Vietnam recently.[3]