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New Vietnamese Prime Minister Elected

  • VOA News

Nguyen Xuan Phuc, center, takes oath after being elected as prime minister in Hanoi, Vietnam Thursday April, 7, 2016.

Nguyen Xuan Phuc, center, takes oath after being elected as prime minister in Hanoi, Vietnam Thursday April, 7, 2016.

Vietnam has a new prime minister.

The country's rubber stamp parliament approved Nguyen Xuan Phuc Thursday, a foregone conclusion since he was the only candidate chosen at the Communist Party's congress back in January.

"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. I promise to try my best to fulfill the responsibilities and missions given to me by the Party, the government and the people," said Phuc as he was sworn in.

The 61-year-old former deputy prime minister takes over from Nguyen Tan Dung, who stepped down after a decade in office. Dung enacted a set of economic reforms that helped Vietnam attract a slew of new foreign investment, spoke out forcefully against China's aggressive expansion in the South China Sea, and strengthened ties with the United States.

But he is also leaving behind a legacy of crippling public debt, widespread corruption and inefficiency in state-run enterprises.

Nguyen Xuan Phuc is part of Vietnam's new ruling triumvirate, joining party Secretary-General Nguyen Phu Trong and President Tran Dai Quang. Trong beat back a challenge to a seat on the 19-member ruling Politburo from Nguyen Tan Dung during January's party congress. Tran was elected to the ceremonial post last week.

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