Biografi Nong Duc Manh

Party General secretary 2001-2011

Biograhy on Wikipedia 

Manh seen as reform-leaning pragmatist

By Dominic Whiting

HANOI, April 18 (Reuters) - The man expected to lead Vietnam for the next five years, Nong Duc Manh, is seen as a pragmatist leaning towards the reformist camp who can move the country into the 21st century without alienating the ruling Communist Partys old-guard.
Widely rumoured to be the illegitimate son of late revolutionary hero Ho Chi Minh, the 61-year-old former forestry official has served since 1992 as National Assembly chairman, and is number four in the outgoing 18-member politburo.
If he is confirmed in the post of secretary-general at the formal public session of a five-yearly party congress starting on Thursday and running for four days, he would became Vietnams first ever leader from an ethnic minority background.
His appointment will be seen in part as an attempt by the party to portray a more sensitive attitude to Vietnams 54 minority groups after recent ethnic protests in the Central Highlands that were the worst to hit the country in years.
But the outside world will be looking most keenly for evidence of Manhs apparent reformist leanings and the apparent contrast with the conservatism of Le Kha Phieu, who he is expected to replace.


Diplomats and other observers say Manhs experience of political reform - overseeing the conversion of the National Assembly from a rubber stamp to a more influential legislative body -- should put him in good stead to oversee an ambitious economic programme set for the next decade.
They say that by avoiding identifying too closely with any of the partys different factions, Manh appeared to have the stature needed to move ahead with the governments declared aim of nurturing private enterprise.
Seen as a good manager and administrator, he will be greeted favourably, at least initially, by foreign investors and governments hoping to see greater economic reform and trade liberalisation.
Manh was born into an ethnic Tay family in 1940 in the northern province of Bac Can and rumours have long circulated that he is the illegitimate son of Ho Chi Minh, communist Vietnams revered founder, who died in 1969.
He has not gone out of his way to reject the suggestion, which does not seem to have harmed his progression through the party ranks. Once asked bluntly by former Australian ambassador Sue Boyd whether the rumour was true, his answer was described as "noncommittal."
Manh began his working life at the Forestry Department and later graduated from the Institute of Forest Technology in Leningrad in the former Soviet Union, where like many other members of Vietnams communist elite, he learned Russian.
He went on to hone his party credentials at the Nguyen Ai Quoc School, a bastion of revolutionary ideology.
From 1972 to 1986, Manh worked his way up through his provincial forestry service, peoples committee and party committee.
He eventually became a full member of the powerful central committee in 1989.
In 1989, Manh took over the central committees Commission of Nationalities and became a member of the National Assembly, where he served as vice-chair of the Council of Nationalities, helping to fashion policy on ethnic minorities.
At the seventh party congress in 1991, Manh was appointed to the politburo as its youngest and only ethnic minority member. He became chairman of the National Assembly the following year.

Detailed Biografi (Carl Thayer)

By Vietnam-expert Carl Thayer, Thursday, April 12 2001
  • Central Committee status: 1986 alternate new.  1991 full promoted.  1996 full retained.
  • Current: Politburo member, 4 of 19 (Jun 91, Jul 96-present), chairman of the National Assembly and National Assembly Standing Committee  (Jul 92+present). Member Politburo Standing Board (Jan. 98-present).
  • Date of Birth:  September 11, 1940
  • Place of Birth: Cuong Loi village, Na Ri District, Bac Can Province (Bac Thai province). Tay ethnic minority.
  • Education: Trained as forest engineer in USSR.
  • Joined VCP July 5, 1963.
  • Member of the Bac Thai Provincial Party Executive Committee, July 1977.
  • Member of the Standing Board of the Bac Thai Provincial Party Committee and then Deputy Secretary of the Bac Thai Province Party Committee, October 1983-October 1986.
  • Elected Secretary Bac Thai province party committee (October 1986).
  • Elected alternate new member VCPCC 6th congress (Dec 86).
  • March 1989 elected full member of VCP CC and head of Nationalities Commission (1989-91).
  • Full promoted member VCPCC and newly appointed member Politburo 7th ongress (Jun 91).  
  • Head VCPCC Commission for Nationalities (Jun 91).
  • full retained member VCPCC and Politburo (Jul 96). Member Politburo Standing Board (7 Jan. 98).
  • 1960s worked in forestry service, Bac Thai province.
  • Deputy Director of the Provincial Forestry in former Bac Thai province from August 1976-July 1977.
  • Director of the Construction Company of the Forestry Service in former Bac Thai province. August 1976-January 1977.
  • Director of the Provincial Forestry Service in Bac Thai from July 1977 to September 1980.
  • Deputy Chairman of the Bac Thai Provincial Peoples Committee in September 1980.
  • Chairman Bac Thai province peoples committee (appointed October 1983-86).
  • Elected in by-election to post of Vice Chairman Nationalities Council (Jun 91).
  • Elected Chairman of National Assembly under new state constitution, 1992; re-elected 1997-present.
  • As chairman of the National Assembly attends 25th anniversary of Liberation Day celebrations in Ba Dinh Hall, Hanoi, 29 Apr (VNA, 30 Apr 00).
  • Holds talks with Qiao Shi, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, then addresses banquet for Qiao Shi, during visit to Hanoi (Xinhua, 18 Nov 96)
  • David Jenkins writing in the Sydney Morning Herald (April 3, 1997) [Le Kha Phieu storming countryside to drum up support for his candidacy as party Secretary General]: "If Phieu were to stumble in his bid to become general secretary, National Assembly chairman, Nong Duc Manh, 57, could emerge as a compromise candidate." Rumors continue to circulate that he is the illegitimate son of Ho Chi Minh. Australian Ambassador Sue Boyd once asked him bluntly if the rumor were true, but "The answer was noncommittal."
  • Bangkok Post (July 22, 1997): There are also two leading candidates to succeed Gen [Le Duc] Anh as president. The leading candidate is Nguyen Manh Cam�?� His leading opponent is Nong Duc Manh. Manh is the ultimate outsider in Vietnamese political terms. He is a Tay national and a mere 57 years old. He is also one of Vietnams most astute power-climbers, with a foot in both the reformist and hardline camps. He has virtually no personal power base which could be to his advantage if it comes down to a close vote.
  • The National Assembly will vote soon on whether to reappoint senior Politburo member Nong Duc Manh as its chairman, ruling him out for top leadership changes due this week (Reuters, September 23, 1997). Nong Duc Manh elected as National Assembly chairman (Voice of Vietnam, 24 Sep 97).
  • Nong Duc Mang makes working tour of Cao Bang province (VNA, 7 Jan 98).
  • Manh visits the United States (Aug 2000).
SOURCE: from the files of Carl Thayer