2 April 2016

Vietnam elects police chief to No. 2 post of president

New Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang takes the oath of office after being elected as the head of state in Hanoi, Vietnam, Saturday, April 2, 2016. Vietnam's National Assembly has elected Public Security Minister Quang, 59, to be the country's new president, the second-highest post in the country.
Vietnam's police chief was elected Saturday by the National Assembly to become president — the second-highest post — and promised to "resolutely" protect the country's sovereignty amid an ongoing territorial dispute with longtime rival China.

Public Security Minister and police general Tran Dai Quang, 59, received 436 votes from 465 assembly members who cast their votes, the Communist government said on its website.

In Vietnam, the president is the head of state and chief commander of the military, while the prime minister — to be chosen next week — oversees the economy. Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong holds the top job. Both men are members of the powerful 19-member committee that effectively rules the country.
After taking the oath of office, Quang vowed in a televised speech to "resolutely and perseveringly fight to firmly defend the country's independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, the national interests and security."
In this Jan. 28, 2016 file photo, newly re-elected Vietnam's Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, center, flanked by Politburo members, Public Security Minister Gen. Tran Dai Quang, left, and first Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, applauds as he poses with the new party's central committee members at the closing ceremony the national congress of the party in Hanoi, Vietnam. Vietnam's National Assembly has elected the police chief to be the country's new president, the second-highest post in the country. Quang, 59, took the oath of office Saturday, April 2 after the vote.

Vietnam is locked in a territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea, and several assembly members have complained that the government has not taken a firm enough stand toward China and its growing territorial assertiveness in the region.
Quang also said he would push ahead with the country's Doi
In this Jan. 21, 2016 file photo, Vietnam's Public Security Minister Gen. Tran Dai Quang applauds during the opening ceremony of the Communist Party of Vietnam's 12th Congress in Hanoi, Vietnam. Vietnam's National Assembly has elected the police chief to be the country's new president, the second-highest post in the country. Quang, 59, took the oath of office Saturday, April 2 after the vote.
Moi economic reforms, and work to "strengthen Vietnam's prestige and position in international arena." 
Hailing from northern province of Ninh Binh, Quang rose through the ranks in the powerful Ministry of Public Security and was appointed minister five years ago. He was widely expected to become president after being re-elected to the Politburo at the Communist Party Congress in January. Four of the Politburo members were current or former senior police officials. 
(AP)

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