The decision to punish the central province’s leaders was issued by the Party Secretariat, the Communist Party's executive body, at a meeting Tuesday, following recommendations made by the Central Inspection Committee last August. Khanh Hoa is home to popular resort town Nha Trang and major navy port Cam Ranh.
In addition to the three officials, the Secretariat also issued official warnings to the Standing Committee of Khanh Hoa's Party Committee and the Party unit of the provincial People's Committee for serious violations.
Specifically, the Standing Committee of Khanh Hoa's Party Committee for the terms 2010-2015, 2015-2020 and the Party unit of the province's People's Committee for the terms 2011-2016, 2016-2021 were found to have seriously violated the principle of democratic centralism and working regulations.
These units had shown a lack of responsibility and negligence in their leading, managing, inspecting and supervising tasks, enabling many land management, land use and construction violations to occur over long periods of time, inspectors found.
The secretariat found these violations to have had "very serious" consequences, causing massive losses to the state's land resource, property and budget, directly affecting national defense and security, negatively affecting the socio-economy, causing social unrest and damaging the party's reputation. Specific numbers of damage have not been revealed.
Vinh, as deputy secretary of Khanh Hoa's Party unit, secretary of the party unit of the provincial People's Committee and provincial chairman for the term 2016-2021, as well as member of the provincial Party Committee and provincial vice chairman for the term 2011-2016, was also held responsible for the party unit's violations during the two terms and for violations committed by the Party unit of the People's Committee during the 2011-2016 term.
He was also held mainly responsible for violations committed by the party unit and the Khanh Hoa People's Committee during the 2016-2021 term.
Thang, as deputy secretary of the provincial party unit for the term 2010-2015, secretary of the party unit of the People's Committee and provincial chairman for the term 2011-2016, was held jointly responsible for the violations committed during the term 2011-2016.
Thien, as member of Khanh Hoa's Party Committee, Party unit of the People's Committee and provincial vice chairman for the term 2016-2021, was meanwhile held jointly responsible for violations committed during the term 2016-2021.
Furthermore, Vinh, Thang and Thien were found to have directly signed many of the party unit and the People's Committee documents on land, project construction and investment that "very seriously" violated party regulations and the law, many of them intentionally.
The secretariat concluded that the three officials' violations were "very serious" and, when combined with their units' violation, caused "especially serious" consequences including massive losses to the state's land, property and budget, affecting national defense and security as well as other impacts difficult to resolve.
It decided to punish Thang, Vinh and Thien by stripping them of all of their party positions, the second highest mode of punishment against members of the Communist Party.
The Communist Party of Vietnam has four modes of punishment against its members: reprimand, warning, demotion and expulsion.
A sweeping corruption crackdown spearheaded by party chief and President Nguyen Phu Trong has snared scores of high-profile officials over the last three years, especially in the energy and banking sectors. Many high-ranking officials, including a former vice defense minister, have been held responsible for land managment violations recently.
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