HANOI, Vietnam – Vietnam’s Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan Xuan will serve as acting president following the resignation of the former president after just over a year in the post, a Communist Party daily said Thursday.

The appointment of a permanent candidate is unlikely to be swift, analysts said, underscoring growing concerns among international investors over political instability in the Southeast Asian country, a growing manufacturing hub and seen between the U.S. and China’s struggle for global influence.

Xuan, 54, became vice president in 2021 and will serve as acting president for a second time, according to the Tuoi Tre newspaper.

The president, Vo Van Thuong, resigned on Wednesday due to unspecified infractions that damaged the image and reputation of the party and the state, according to the Communist Party. Thuong’s predecessor, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, resigned last year to take “political responsibility” for corruption scandals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although the offenses were not specified, analysts indicated that the terms implied by the party made it clear that the case was related to the anti-corruption campaign.

That the youngest president in Vietnam’s modern history, once considered a protégé of Communist Party leader Nguyen Phu Trong, 79, would become the shortest-serving in office was a “political earthquake,” said Nguyen Khac Giang, an analyst at Singapore’s ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.

His resignation is likely to be followed by a “very complicated” succession process within the party, which is likely to drag on until the crucial 2026 National Congress, the party’s most important meeting and where the successor to Trong, the country’s most powerful politician, will be determined.

Concerns about Trong’s health have given more importance to the largely ceremonial post of chairman. It is the third position in the hierarchy of political power, but it is second on the official ladder and a good stepping stone to the top job, Giang said.

“Until now, nobody wanted the presidency post because they had no power. But at the same time, that post will put someone in a very good position” to opt to become the next party leader, he said.

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