Can Vietnam break the authoritarian glass ceiling?

26 November 2019

Author: Paul Schuler, University of ArizonaNo woman has led a non-democratic regime that was not a monarchy. Vietnam will make history in 2021 if it selects current National Assembly Chair, Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, as the Vietnam Communist Party (VCP) General Secretary at the next Party Congress.

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen (L) meets Vietnam's National Assembly's Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan in Hanoi, Vietnam, 8 December 2018 (Photo: Reuters/Kham).

Precedent for her selection certainly exists given that the previous two general secretaries were both also National Assembly chairs prior to their promotion. Some analysts see Ngan as a natural contender.

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