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Vietnam elects new prime minister as Phuc becomes president

VIETNAM’S parliament elected Pham Minh Chinh, head of the Communist Party’s central committee, as prime minister on Monday, replacing Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who was sworn in as the country’s president.

“The prime minister clearly recognises his responsibility in inheriting and promoting the achievements [of the previous government],” he said, in his first speech after election.

He pledged to “firmly defend” Vietnam’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Mr Chinh led a Communist Party of Vietnam delegation to Britain in 2018, visiting the Marx Memorial Library and holding talks with Communist Party of Britain leader Robert Griffiths.

Mr Phuc, who was widely praised for the country’s successful handling of the coronavirus pandemic, became the first prime minister to be elected as president, according to the National Assembly.

Communist Party general secretary Nguyen Phu Trong had been been serving as president after the previous leader, Tran Dai Quang, died in office in 2018.

At the end of March, the National Assembly appointed Hanoi party leader Vuong Dinh Hue, 64, as its new chairman.

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