Vietnam shortens time for new head of state approval

By Vuong Duc Anh, Hoang ThuyMarch 18, 2016 | 09:02 pm PT
The selection of a new President, Prime Minister and National Assembly Chairman has been brought forward three months earlier, and will now be decided during the 13th National Assembly’s last session from March 21 to April 12.

Chief of the National Asembly's board of secretaries Nguyen Hanh Phuc

At a press conference to announce the final session’s agenda, deputy chief of the National Assembly’s board of secretaries, Le Minh Thong, said one of the most important matters for it to decide was who will fill the three key leadership positions, deliberations for which will take more than half the sitting period.

The selection of these positions was scheduled for the first meeting of the new National Assembly in July. By changing this to April, Vietnam hopes to shorten the power gap between the current leaders and their successors.

Chief of the National Assembly’s board of secretaries, Nguyen Hanh Phuc, said bringing the process forward was not unprecedented, as the 11th National Assembly had also selected new candidates for positions such as President, Prime Minister and National Assembly Chairman earlier than scheduled.

Unlike normal meetings of previous National Assemblies, which elect and approve those filling the positions, the last meetings of the 13th National Assembly will also handle the process of vacating the current holders of these positions, Phuc explained.

During the 12th National Congress held in January, the Central Committee recommended Minister of Public Security Tran Dai Quang for President, Vice Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc for Prime Minister and Vice Chairman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan for National Assembly Chairman.

Other matters on the agenda for the 13th National Assembly's last meeting include reviews of socio-economic development and the state budget in 2015, performance reviews for senior office holders during their 2011-2016 tenure and development trajectories for 2016-2020. The session will also feature discussions on a number of bills and amendments.

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