Vietnam’s 14th National Assembly (NA) re-elected Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc to the post of Prime Minister for the 2016-2021 term on July 26.

After receiving 98.18 per cent of votes Mr. Phuc took an oath of office for the second time in just a few months. He was first elected to the post by the previous NA in April, receiving 98.92 per cent of votes.

“Under the national flag, I, the Prime Minister, swear to be totally loyal to the country, the people, and the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, to exert all my efforts in completing the tasks that the Party, State and the people have entrusted in me,” he said at the NA gathering.

“Vietnam needs to maximize its internal strengths while making use of external support for the nation’s and the people’s interests, to faster and more sustainably develop and become a wealthy country with a higher profile in the international arena,” PM Phuc said after taking his oath.

Vietnam ranks 14th in the world in terms of population, he said, but stands at just 48th in terms of economic size and 133rd in GDP per capita. “Vietnam must try to bridge the gap since it is facing the challenge of an aging population,” he said, explaining that its “golden age” of having a young population will end within the next decade.

Born in 1954 in central Quang Nam province, Mr. Phuc studied economic management at the Hanoi National Economic University from 1973 to 1978. He was accepted to join the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) in 1982 and officially became a party member in 1983.

From 1978 to 1979 he worked at the Quang Nam-Da Nang Economic Board. From 1980-1993 he was a member of staff then rose to Chief of Office of the Quang Nam-Da Nang People's Committee. He also studied administrative management at the Vietnam National Administrative Academy during this period.

He was Director of the Quang Nam-Da Nang Department of Planning and Investment in the 1993-1996 period and studied economic management at the National University of Singapore.

Mr. Phuc was appointed as Minister and Chairman of the Office of the Government in 2007 before being voted into the Politburo in January 2011 then becoming a Deputy Prime Minister until April 2016.

In April this year he was voted by the 13th NA to the post of Prime Minister, replacing his predecessor Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung.

The NA also approved the government’s proposal for a new government structure on July 26, with 93.52 per cent of delegates voting in favor. The new structure will feature 22 ministries and ministerial agencies, unchanged from the last term.

On July 21 it re-elected Ms. Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan as NA Chairwoman and voted on four vice chairs and the NA’s Standing Committee of 18 members.

It then re-elected Mr. Tran Dai Quang to the post of State President, with 98.18 per cent of votes.

This first session of the 14th NA will also vote on other senior positions, including Vice President, before it wraps up on July 29.