Vietnam Elects First Chairwoman of Parliament

By The Associated Press 1 April 2016

HANOI — Vietnam’s parliament on Thursday elected Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan as its chairwoman, making her the first woman to lead the Communist-dominated legislature.

Ngan, 61, won 95.5 percent of the votes, the National Assembly said on its website.

State media reported that Ngan took the oath of office, vowing to “be completely faithful to the country, people and the Constitution.”

Ngan rose from director of the finance department in her home province of Ben Tre in the southern Mekong Delta to vice chairwoman of the assembly five years ago.

Her appointment was widely expected when she was re-elected to the powerful Politburo at the Communist Party Congress in January.

On Wednesday, the assembly voted to relieve chairman of the assembly Nguyen Sinh Hung of his duties.

Hung, who was not re-elected to the Politburo, should have served out his term when the new legislature meets in July, but officials have said that new leaders selected for the top positions of the ruling Communist Party should be appointed to lead the assembly, state and government.

The assembly will vote later Thursday to end the term of President Truong Tan Sang, and he will be replaced by Tran Dai Quang, the current public security minister, on Saturday.

The legislature will also relieve Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung of his duties and elect his deputy Nguyen Xuan Phuc to head the government next week.

The moves will formally complete the election process that started with the Communist Party’s Congress in January.