A LEADING Vietnamese nuclear scientist tipped for a place in a new ruling Politburo to be announced tomorrow has died suddenly of a heart attack.
Nguyen Dinh Tu, 63, collapsed at his home following the opening of the eighth Communist Party Congress on Friday.
He died overnight in hospital, officials said.
Tu was expected to be promoted to one of the lower ranking spots in a new expanded 19-member Politburo after a long government and party career, party sources said.
His death comes two weeks after the fatal heart attack of deputy Foreign Minister Le Mai, another top civil servant tipped for the Politburo.
Tu was for the last five years a member of the party's influential secretariat made up of top members who run operations day to day.
A nuclear physicist, he was expected to enter the Politburo to run its commission on technology, science and training.
He was a former minister for higher education from 1976 to 1986 after terms as a head of Vietnam's National Atomic Research Institute and vice director of Hanoi University.
The Politburo is due to be announced on Monday after weeks of secret deliberations by the central committee and congress delegates.
The line-up is expected to be headed by incumbent party chief Do Muoi, President Le Duc Anh and Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet.
It is also expected to include a new elite 'standing body'.