Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security is a ministry that political fractions compete for influence quite fiercely. Because this set has a lot of rights and a lot of money. The Minister of Public Security is a member of the Politburo. This ministry, along with the Ministry of Defense, is the site of factional power disputes in the country’s Four Pillars (the four highest positions of the country: party chief, prime minister, chairman of the National Assembly, and state president). Currently, the Ministry of Public Security belongs to the Government only in name, in essence, it belongs to the General Secretary. That is the decisive factor in the strength of the Ministry of Public Security.
Previously, when Prime Minister Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung consolidated his influence before Nong Duc Manh, it was also thanks to the Ministry of Public Security. Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung used to be Major General, Deputy Minister of Public Security, but that does not mean that Mr. Dung has become stronger thanks to his police background. Mr. Dung’s strength is thanks to Mr. Le Hong Anh, a native of Kien Giang, serving as the Minister of Public Security that time. Thanks to that, Mr. Dung overwhelmed the General Secretary for a long time.
When Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong became General Secretary, Mr. Trong tried to take control of the Ministry of Public Security by pulling Le Hong Anh to the Secretariat to lock him up. However, Mr. Le Hong Anh’s successor, Tran Dai Quang, was “stubborn,” refused to listen to Nguyen Tan Dung and refused to obey Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong. Mr. Tran Dai Quang wanted to build his power alone, not to join anyone.
In 2011, Mr. Tran Dai Quang was the Minister of Public Security at that time, but he did not bring any strength to Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong. It made Mr. Trong failed many times in his attempt to overthrow Nguyen Tan Dung.
However, with his multi-scheming nature, Mr. Trong sought outside support and by the end of 2015, Mr. Trong regained his strength without Tran Dai Quang.
In fact, Mr. Trong not only drew strength from his trips to China, but he also shook hands with To Lam when To Lam was Deputy Minister of Public Security. Supporting To Lam and used him remove the Ninh Binh interest group in the Ministry of Public Security. That was the intention of Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong and he succeeded.
Thus, the person who builds strength for Ninh Binh interest groups at the Ministry of Public Security is Mr. Tran Dai Quang. Quang is a martial arts general, but his political ambition was very high. He wanted to join the Four Pillars, taking his brother to the Ministry of Public Security to replace him. But Mr. Tran Dai Quang was too hasty when he refused to sit for another term so that Tran Quoc To could have enough wings, but he was in a hurry to compete for the Four Pillars. However, Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong has campaigned both at home and abroad and defeated Tran Dai Quang, pushing him to the seat of an unreal name to make it easier to take action. That was to put Mr. Quang in the State President position.
At the Ministry of Public Security, the Ninh Binh force that Mr. Tran Dai Quang built based on Tran Quoc To who is now also the Permanent Deputy Minister- a position very close to the ministerial seat. In fact, Tran Quoc To is a man who is difficult to follow Nguyen Phu Trong’s side. Although Tran Quoc To was very clever, he did not appear to be dominant or helpful, but only obedient. Obey both To Lam and Mr. Trong. According to an anonymous friend in the Ministry of Public Security, Tran Quoc To is hiding and waiting for his time. Not daring to be with anyone, however, both Mr. General and Mr. To were afraid to admit this person to their group.
It is reported that Mr. To Lam did not want to accept the position that President Nguyen Xuan Phuc left behind because there are many reasons, one of which is the need to stay in order to “suffocate” Tran Quoc To. If To becomes minister, the Ninh Binh fraction will control the Ministry of Public Security, and at that time, the balance of power between factions in the political arena will change.
According to the information we received, the Ninh Binh fraction is very strong in the northern localities. Mr. Tran Dai Quang’s strength was not protected from above, but pushed him up from below. There are many businesses and political forces that have strongly mobilized localities. It seems that Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong and Mr. To Lam are not wanting the power of Ninh Binh to revive.