List of Presidents of Vietnam

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The President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnamese: Chủ tịch nước Cộng hòa xã hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam), known as Chairman of the Council of State (Chủ tịch Hội đồng Nhà nước) from 1981 to 1992, is the head of state of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The president represents Vietnam internally and externally, supervises the work as well as preserving the stability of the national governmental system and safeguards the independence and territorial integrity of the country. The President appoints prime minister, vice presidents, ministers and other officials with the consent of the National Assembly. The head of state is the commander-in-chief of the Vietnam People's Armed Forces and Chairman of the Council for Defence and Security, an organ of the National Assembly. Since Vietnam is a one-party state, with the Communist Party of Vietnam being the sole party allowed by the constitution, all the presidents of the Democratic Republic and the Socialist Republic have been members of the party while holding office. The current president is Trương Tấn Sang, since 25 July 2011. He is ranked first in the Politburo hierarchy.[1][note 1]

The modern office of the President of the Socialist Republic traces its lineage back to Ho Chi Minh, the first President of the Democratic Republic, and the office has no connection, or lineage, officially at least, to the heads of state of the former South Vietnam (with the exception being Nguyễn Hữu Thọ, a communist and the last head of state of South Vietnam). Officially there have been 9 presidents of Vietnam, but there have, in total, been 14 presidents if the ones of South Vietnam are counted.

Presidents of Vietnam (1945–present)[edit]

Democratic Republic of Vietnam (1945–1976)[edit]

[note 2]
Took office Left office Rank
[note 3]
National Assembly Portrait
1 1 Hồ Chí Minh
2 September 1945 2 September 1969
[note 4]
1 1st convocation
A thin-faced man with a long beard wearing traditional clothing
2nd convocation
3rd convocation
Tôn Đức Thắng
3 September 1969 23 September 1969 3rd convocation
2 2 23 September 1969 2 July 1976 4th convocation
5th convocation

Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam (1969–1976)[edit]

[note 2]
Took office Left office Prime Minister
Chairman of the Consultative Council
3 1 Nguyễn Hữu Thọ
8 June 1969 2 July 1976 Huỳnh Tấn Phát

Socialist Republic of Vietnam (1976–present)[edit]

[note 2]
Took office Left office Rank
[note 3]
National Assembly Portrait
2 1 Tôn Đức Thắng
2 July 1976 30 March 1980
[note 4]
6th convocation
Nguyễn Hữu Thọ
30 March 1980 4 July 1981 6th convocation
Chairmen of the Council of State
4 2 Trường Chinh
4 July 1981 17 June 1987 2 7th convocation
A old bald man wearing traditional clothing
[note 5]
5 3 Võ Chí Công
18 June 1987 24 September 1992 3 8th convocation
6 4 Lê Đức Anh
24 September 1992 24 September 1997 2 9th convocation
7 5 Trần Đức Lương
24 September 1997 27 June 2006 2 10th convocation
a smiling man with black hair, wearing glasses, and dressed in a suit with a red tie
11th convocation
8 6 Nguyễn Minh Triết
27 June 2006 25 July 2011 4 11th convocation
a smiling man with black hair, dressed in a suit with a white shirt and yellow tie
12th convocation
9 7 Trương Tấn Sang
25 July 2011 Incumbent 1 13th convocation
a smiling man with black hair, dressed in a dark suit with a white shirt and purple tie

See also[edit]


1.^ The Politburo of the Central Committee is the highest decision-making body of the CPV and the Central Government. The membership composition, and the order of rank of the individual Politburo members is decided in an election within the newly formed Central Committee in the aftermath of a Party Congress.[2] The Central Committee can overrule the Politburo, but that does not happen often.[3]
2.^ These numbers are official. The "—" denotes acting head of state. The first column shows how many presidents there have been in Vietnamese history, while the second show how many presidents there was in that state.
3.^ The Central Committee when it convenes for its first session after being elected by a National Party Congress elects the Politburo.[2] According to David Koh, in interviews with several high-standing Vietnamese officials, the Politburo ranking is based upon the number of approval votes by the Central Committee. Lê Hồng Anh, the Minister of Public Security, was ranked 2nd in the 10th Politburo because he received the second-highest number of approval votes. Another example being Tô Huy Rứa of the 10th Politburo, he was ranked lowest because he received the lowest approval vote of the 10th Central Committee when he standing for election for a seat in the Politburo. This system was implemented at the 1st plenum of the 10th Central Committee.[4] The Politburo ranking functioned as an official order of precedence before the 10th Party Congress, and some believe it still does.[2]
4.^ Died in office.
5.^ Trường Chinh was ranked 1st in the Politburo hierarchy when Lê Duẩn, the General Secretary of the Central Committee, died on 10 July 1986.


  1. ^ "Party Congress announces CPVCC Politburo members". Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. 19 January 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Van & Cooper 1983, p. 69.
  3. ^ Abuza, Zachary (16 November 2001). "The Lessons of Le Kha Phieu: Changing Rules in Vietnamese politics". Vietnamese Professionals of America. The Catholic University of America. p. 12. 
  4. ^ Koh 2008, p. 666.