Vietnam's ruling Communist Party on Monday confirmed that Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the country's Prime Minister since 2016, will take up the largely ceremonial role of state President.

A resolution on electing Phuc as the new President was adopted with an approval rate of 97.5 per cent at the ongoing 11th session of the 14th National Assembly (NA), the nation's parliament and principal legislative body.

The session will also see the party elect 25 key leadership roles, including a new Prime Minister and head of the NA, reports dpa news agency.

Nguyen Xuan
Nguyen Xuan PhucIANS

Phuc, a member of the all-powerful Vietnamese Politburo, served as Prime Minister of Vietnam from 2016 and Deputy Prime Minister from 2011.

Vietnam PM's role

As Prime Minister, he played a key role in ratifying major trade deals such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and chaired the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) last year.

in his swearing in statement, Phuc vowed to be absolutely loyal to the nation, the people and the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and to work hard to fulfil the duty assigned by the Communist Party, the state and the people.

This is the first time in history that the NA elected an incumbent Prime Minister as the state President.

Vietnam Prez

In 2018, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong also took up the role of President following the death of Tran Dai Quang.

Phuc's election marks the separation of Trong's dual role and a return to the nation's traditional 'four-pillar' leadership of General Secretary, Prime Minister, President and National Assembly head.

On March 31, Vietnam elected Hanoi's Communist Party chief Vuong Dinh Hue as the new NA leader.

The next Prime Minister is expected to be announced on Monday afternoon.

Pham Minh Chinh, the head of the Communist Party's powerful Central Organisation Committee, is widely tipped to become assume the post.

According to Vietnamese legal regulations, the working tenure of the President and the Prime Minister is coincident with that of the NA.

(With inputs from IANS)