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Vietnam's parliament elects Thuong as new president

Party chief Trong to solidify grip on power with appointment of ally

HANOI -- Vietnam's National Assembly on Thursday elected Vo Van Thuong as the country's new president in an extraordinary session following the abrupt resignation of his predecessor, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and Thuong's nomination by the Communist Party Central Committee as his successor at a special meeting the previous day.

Thuong, 52, is the youngest member of the 16-member Politburo, Vietnam's top decision-making body. He is also a loyal ally of Nguyen Phu Trong, the Communist Party chief who has pushed out internal rivals in an anti-graft crackdown.

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