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Vietnam’s Parliament Approves New Prime Minister

Nguyen Xuan Phuc, center, takes oath after being elected as prime minister in Hanoi, Vietnam Thursday April, 7, 2016. (Thong Nhat/Vietnam News Agency via AP)
Vietnam’s Parliament Approves New Prime Minister
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Vietnamese lawmakers approved Nguyen Xuan Phuc as the country’s new prime minister Thursday.

Phuc was the only candidate for the position. He was chosen at the Vietnamese Communist Party’s congress three months ago.

Vietnam’s parliament is not independent. Its members vote as the country’s leaders direct them to. These kinds of legislatures are often called “rubber-stamp” parliaments.

As Phuc took office, he said “before the flag of the motherland, before the assembly, in front of the people of Vietnam, I swear to have the utmost loyalty to the country, the people and the constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

He added, “I promise to try my best to fulfill the responsibilities and missions given to me by the Party, the government and the people.”

Nguyen Xuan Phuc is 61 years old. He formerly served as Vietnam’s deputy prime minister.

He follows Nguyen Tan Dung, who was prime minister for ten years. Dung enacted a series of measures that led to an increase in foreign investment in Vietnam. He also strengthened Vietnam’s relationship with the United States. And he publicly criticized China’s attempts to claim much of the South China Sea.

During Dung’s years as prime minister, Vietnam’s debt increased sharply, and he was not able to end widespread corruption. And inefficiency remained a problem at state-operated businesses.

Nguyen Xuan Phuc is now one of the country’s three main leaders. The other two are the Communist Party’s Secretary-General, Nguyen Phu Trong, and President Tran Dai Quang.

Tran was elected to the largely ceremonial position of president last week. In January, during the party meeting, Trong beat back Nguyen Tan Dung for a seat on the party’s ruling Politburo.

I’m Christopher Jones-Cruise. reported this story. Christopher Jones-Cruise adapted it for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

rubber-stamp – n. a person or organization that automatically approves everything that someone does or decides

utmost - adj. greatest or highest in degree, number or amount

mission – n. a task or job that someone is given to do

inefficiency – n. the lack of ability to do something or produce something without wasting materials, time or energy; the quality or state of being inefficient; not efficient