Vietnam's Prime Minister Urged To Resign

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Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has been urged to resign by a Vietnamese politician over his mishandling of the nation's faltering economy. 

This summer, Vietnam's central bank conceded that bad debts amounted to as much as 10 percent of all bank loans, a figure that some analysts believe understates the reality.

The country is also reeling from high inflation, slowing economic growth, declining foreign direct investment and a number of corporate scandals. A number of top businessmen have been arrested for fraud and corruption.

With the country riddled with so much economic turmoil, Prime Minister Dung took responsibility in a rare apology. He acknowledged the problems within state-owned enterprises that make up a sizable percentage of the Vietnamese economy. 

Regardless of the apology, the economic situation in Vietnam is not improving significantly and public unhappiness is very high. The Vietnamese are dissatisfied with their leaders' mismanagement of the economy and critical of Communist Party decision-making. 

On Wednesday the prime minister was called on to resign during a televised parliamentary meeting by Duong Trung Quoc, a non-party member of the National Assembly.

According to Radio Free Asia, Quoc reiterated that an apology by Dung was not enough to appease the Vietnamese public.

"Are you willing to start the government's progress towards a culture of resignation, in order to break away step by step from the apologies?" Quoc asked.

Dung, who is currently serving his second five-year term, responded to Quoc's entreaty by declaring he was assigned to the position by the party and would remain.

"The party has decided to volunteer me for the post of prime minister and to continue with the task of prime minister that was assigned by the Central Committee and the Assembly voted for," Dung said.

"I did not lobby, I did not ask for, nor refuse, any assignment given by the party and state."

Dung's response may force Vietnam's ruling body, the Communist Party Central Committee, to rethink leadership decisions. In fact, a leadership change may even be welcomed by Dung himself.

"I'm willing to accept and willing to fulfill earnestly any decision of the party, the Central Committee and the Assembly," Dung said. 

Another politician, Nguyen Ba Thuyen, told Agence-France Presse that Dung's failure to revive the economy had hurt the party's image with the public.

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