Vietnam swears in new President, PM


Vietnams ruling Communist Party on Monday swore in former Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc as President, while Pham Minh Chinh, the chair of the partys Central Organisation Committee, was elected as the new premier.

Party members voted in both Chinh and Phuc at the tail end of a 12-day National Assembly session that’s seen the party elect 25 key leadership roles, reports dpa news agency.

Chinh, 62, has headed the Party’s powerful Central Organisation Committee since 2016.

Phuc, a member of the all-powerful Vietnamese Politburo, served as Prime Minister from 2016 and Deputy Prime Minister from 2011.

As Prime Minister, he played a key role in ratifying major trade deals such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), and chaired the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) last year.

In 2018, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong also took up the role of President following the death of Tran Dai Quang.

Phuc’s election marks the separation of Trong’s dual role and a return to the nation’s traditional ‘four-pillar’ leadership of General Secretary, Prime Minister, President and National Assembly head.

On March 31, Vietnam elected Hanoi’s Communist Party chief Vuong Dinh Hue as the new leader of its National Assembly – the nation’s parliament and principal legislative body.

The National Assembly sessions have also been dogged by allegations of harassment after two independent candidates and one medical doctor were arrested for spreading information deemed as ‘anti-state’, which carries potential jail terms of between five and 20 years.