Vietnam elects new president, prime minister

Kyodo News

Posted at Apr 05 2021 10:40 PM

Vietnam elects new president, prime minister 1
Vietnam's new Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh holds a bouquet of flowers with country's former Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc who became the new president, at an official ceremony in Hanoi, Vietnam April 5, 2021. VNA via Reuters

HANOI - Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc was chosen Monday as the country's new president and was replaced by fellow Politburo member Pham Minh Chinh, as members of the ruling Communist Party voted in the National Assembly.

Phuc, 66, took the second-highest post in the country's leadership that had been concurrently taken by top leader Nguyen Phu Trong, 76, the general secretary of the party who is serving a rare third term in the top post.

With these appointments, the four key positions of the country's leadership have been confirmed. Last week, Vuong Dinh Hue, a former prime minister and Hanoi party committee secretary, was elected as National Assembly chairman.

Under the new lineup, Vietnam's emphasis on good relations with Japan will unlikely change, nor will efforts to maintain balanced diplomacy that is not biased toward either the United States or China.

Before becoming prime minister, Pham, 62, headed the party's Central Organization Committee.

Phuc, 66, served as prime minister since 2016 after holding key government positions including vice prime minister.

The prime minister is effectively the country's No. 3.

The session of the National Assembly, which started on March 24, will be held until Thursday.