Vietnam elects first female legislature leader

By An Hong   March 31, 2016 | 09:36 am GMT+7

Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan made history on March 31 by becoming the first woman appointed to lead Vietnam's National Assembly after winning a majority vote in parliament. 

Former chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung stepped down yesterday.

Ngan, holding a master degree in economics, is a member of the current nineteen-member Politburo. She has been a member of the Central Committee of the Vietnamese Communist Party for four consecutive working terms. She was also the former head of the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.

She is a popular figure among her peers and has scored highest in the National Assembly’s annual vote of confidence for two consecutive years. She won "high confidence" votes from about 75 percent of legislators in 2013 and nearly 80 percent in 2014.

Vietnam normally selects its new leaders, including the Prime Minister, President and leader of the National Assembly, after the public elects a new legislature. The incoming parliament then votes on the leadership positions. This year, however, it has abandoned this tradition to install a new leadership and cabinet three months early.