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Last Updated: Friday, 2 February 2007, 07:00 GMT
Vietnam party morals questioned
By Bill Hayton
BBC News, Vietnam

Vietnamese Communist Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh
Manh vows to build socialism in a Vietnamese way
The head of Vietnam's ruling Communist Party has criticised the lack of morals among many of the party's members.

Speaking at a specially convened meeting, General Secretary Nong Duc Manh said some members showed too much individualism.

The meeting follows a series of graft scandals, which have damaged the party's reputation over the past year.

Mr Manh told party members that a slipping of moral standards could paralyse the party.

He advised them to follow the example of their country's founder, Ho Chi Minh.

Corruption scandals

Mr Manh began his speech by praising the party's achievements.

But then he pointed a finger at those who he said were letting the party down.

"Improving revolutionary morals must go along with giving up individualism," he said.

This campaign follows a series of revelations in the local media about corruption scandals and poor administration, and comes as Vietnam begins the process of choosing a new National Assembly.

Mr Manh promised to build socialism in what he called the Vietnamese way - believed to be the first time the party has used such wording - an echo of a similar phrase used by Chinese Communists.

His speech comes at a time of deep internal discussion within the Party about its future structure and role, something which could have significant consequences for the way the country is governed.

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