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Vietnam Selects Former Security Official as Prime Minister


Vietnamese leaders cast ballot to elect new Prime Minister, from left, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Communist General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, Chairman of National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue and newly elected Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh in Hanoi, Vietnam April 5, 2021.
Vietnam Selects Former Security Official as Prime Minister
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Vietnam’s legislature voted for Pham Minh Chinh, a career security official, as the country’s new prime minister Monday. Chinh succeeded Nguyen Xuan Phuc who was named president.

The votes of the 500-member National Assembly followed decisions made in January by the Communist Party’s national congress.

Chinh is 62 years old. Most recently, he was head of the party’s Central Organization Commission. Chinh was also a member of the office charged with corruption prevention.

In 2010, he served as deputy minister of the Ministry of Public Security. The ministry is responsible for policing, watching dissidents and activists as well as spying in other countries. A year later, he became party chief of Quang Ninh province where he was credited with helping with economic development through administrative reform.

Nguyen Khac Giang is a Vietnam expert at New Zealand’s Victoria University. He said the party picked Chinh as prime minister to continue growing the country’s economy.

Vietnamese newly elected President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, left, and newly elected Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh pose for a photo in the National Assembly in Hanoi, Vietnam on Monday, April 5, 2021. (Hoang Thong Nhat/VNA via AP)
Vietnamese newly elected President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, left, and newly elected Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh pose for a photo in the National Assembly in Hanoi, Vietnam on Monday, April 5, 2021. (Hoang Thong Nhat/VNA via AP)


During Phuc’s time as prime minister, Vietnam’s economy has expanded 6 percent over the past five years. Unlike other countries during the pandemic, its economy continued to grow at 2.9 percent in 2020.

With strong measures including a nationwide lockdown, Vietnam has limited the spread of the virus and quickly reopened its economy and manufacturing.

At the age of 66, Phuc passed the age limit to serve as prime minister. As president, Phuc will have a mostly ceremonial job.

Ha Hoang Hop is with the Singapore-based ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute. He said, as prime minister, Chinh would have to deal with China’s aggression in the South China Sea and other issues including “economic development” and “political stability.”

Vietnam has four main leadership positions. In addition to prime minister and president, the others are General Secretary of the Communist Party and leader of the National Assembly

Last week, Vuong Dinh Hue became head of the National Assembly. Earlier this year, Nguyen Phu Trong was elected to a third term as General Secretary of the Communist Party, the most powerful position in the country.

I’m Mario Ritter Jr.

Hau Dinh reported this story for the Associated Press and James Pearson reported this story for Reuters. Dan Novak adapted it for VOA Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.

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Words in This Story

province- n. any one of the large parts that some countries are divided into

lockdown- n. a state of restricted access established as security measure

stability- n. the state of something that is not easily changed or likely to change

ceremonial- n. without real power or influence

stability- n. the state of something that is not easily changed or likely to change

ceremonial- n. without real power or influence

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