Truong Thi Mai defeated two famous men to make her way to the 5th position in the Politburo and surprised many people. It is worth mentioning that Ms. Mai is currently holding both two major positions in the party, the Standing position of the Secretariat and the Head of the Central Organization Commission. As Head of the Central Organization Commission, To Huy Rua previously built power for future Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.
Before Chinh jumped over to the Government to hold the Prime Minister’s seat, he was also Head of agency. About the political strength of Mai, so far is still a mystery. Although she is the second most powerful woman in the history of the Communist Party (the first is former National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan), in terms of her strength in politics, Mai is considered to be the stronger than the former top legislator.
Truong Thi Mai’s strength is an underground power. She didn’t say much, but her words are very strong. No fuss, no much fighting. Just “sits in one place to watch other fighting” and then appeared at the right time to pick up the “trophy.” In the case that she acquired the permanent seat of the Secretariat in the same way, she silently observed how General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong dismissed President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and forced Vo Van Thuong to leave his position of the permanent secretary of the Secretariat to seat in the posision left by Phuc. As a consequence, Mai became a “profitable fisherman.”
The role of the Standing Committee of the Secretariat is to act as deputy to the General Secretary. For meetings that Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong does not want to attend, Ms. Mai can be authorized to attend instead. Therefore, in big meetings, Mai’s position is higher than the others, because she goes on behalf of the General Secretary.
On March 20, the Ministry of Public Security held a conference for the Central Public Security Party Committee. The meeting was chaired by Mr. To Lam – Minister of Public Security. Attending this conference were Phan Dinh Trac, Head of the Central Commission for Internal Affairs, Mr. Le Minh Hung, Secretary of the Party Central Committee cum Chief of Office of the Party Central Committee. Notably, Ms. Truong Thi Mai, Permanent Secretary of the Secretariat cum Head of the Central Organization Committee attended.
In fact, the head of the Party Committee of the Ministry of Public Security is not Mr. To Lam, but party chief Nguyen Phu Trong. In 2016, when he just removed Nguyen Tan Dung from the political arena, Trong joined the Party Committee of the Public Security, as the head of this Ministry in terms of the Party. Since then, the Ministry of Public Security could not slip out of the hands of Trong.
This time, Ms. Truong Thi Mai participated in the meeting of the Public Security Party Committee as the head, because she went instead of Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong so she was very powerful in this meeting.
Although Trong is in the best political health, his physical health is very weak. He cannot attend all the meetings that require his attendance. That would erode his health, so it was difficult for the doctor to let him go from meeting to meeting. Instead, he sent Mai instead. This is an opportunity for her to show her power. At first, she could be a “lobby fox” but then she became a “tiger.”
Currently, Mai is a permanent member of the Secretariat, a position in the Four Pillars in the next term is entirely possible. By hiding in the shadow of Trong’s power and being authorized by him more and more, the possibility of Mai advancing with, or surpassing Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan’s position is a dream within reach. Mai increasingly shows that she has more “iron” than Ngan before.