President of Vietnam

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President of the
Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Coat of arms of Vietnam.svg
lower half of Truong Tan Sang standing in a dark suit, with a blue tie and white shirt.
Incumbent
Trương Tấn Sang

since 25 July 2011
Style Mr./Ms. President
(informal)
His/Her Excellency
(formal)
Residence Presidential Palace, Hanoi, Vietnam
Appointer National Assembly
Term length Five years
renewable once
Inaugural holder Hồ Chí Minh
Formation 2 September 1945

The President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnamese: Chủ tịch nước Cộng hoà xã hội chủ nghĩa), represents the Socialist Republic of Vietnam internally and externally as the head of state, maintains the regular and coordinated operation and stability of the national government system and safeguards the independence and territorial integrity of the country. The President appoints prime ministers, 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 Defense and Security. The tenure of the President is five years, and a president can only serve two terms. If the President becomes unable to discharge duties of office, the Vice President assumes the office of acting president until the President resumes duty, or until the election of a new president.

The powers and prestige of the office of President have varied over the years. For instance, while the inaugural president, Hồ Chí Minh, was the first ranking member of the Communist Party's Politburo, the highest decision-making body in Vietnam, his successor, Tôn Đức Thắng, served as a symbolic figure. Since Trường Chinh's ascension to the presidency, the President has been a high-ranking member in the Politburo.

History[edit]

Further information: List of Presidents of Vietnam

Hồ Chí Minh was appointed Vietnam's first president in 1946 by the National Assembly.[1] Both the 1946 and 1959 Constitutions stated that the National Assembly had the power to appoint and dismiss the President.[2] The President represented Vietnam both internally and externally. The powers and responsibilities of the President remained unchanged in the 1959 constitution.[3] The 1980 constitution transformed the office of head of state dramatically. The office of President was abolished and replaced with the office of Chairman of the Council of State (CC). The CC chairmanship was modelled after the Soviet office of Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. The Council of State, as with the Council of Ministers, was a collective decision-making body. Both the Council of State and the Council of Ministers were part of the executive branch; the strengthening of these institutions weakened the role of the legislative branch.[4] The duties, powers and responsibilities of the Council of State were taken from the Standing Committee of the National Assembly, which lost most of its powers and prestige in the 1980 Constitution.[5]

The members of the Council of State were elected by the National Assembly and consisted of a chairman, deputy chairmen, a General Secretary and other members. Council of State members could not concurrently be members of the Council of Ministers. The Chairman of the Council of State was concurrently Chairman of the National Defense Council (later the National Defense and Security Council) and commander-in-chief of the Vietnam People's Armed Forces. The Council of State supervised the works of other institutions, most notably the Council of Ministers, the Supreme People's Organ for Control and the People's Councils at all levels. It also presided over the elections of the National Assembly.[5] The office of Chairman of the Council of State, the head of state, was abolished in the 1992 Constitution and replaced by the office of President.[6]

The importance of the President has not remained constant throughout Vietnamese history. For instance, while Hồ Chí Minh was ranked as first member of the Politburo, the highest decision-making body in Vietnam, his successor, Tôn Đức Thắng, was a symbolic figure with little power.[7] The post of head of state was strengthened in the 1980 Constitution by the appointment of Trường Chinh who was, by order of precedence, the second-highest-ranking member in the Politburo, behind Lê Duẩn.[8] The office of President retained the second highest rank in the Politburo order of precedence until Nguyễn Minh Triết was appointed in 2006; he ranked fourth in the Politburo hierarchy.[9] The Politburo elected in the aftermath of the 11th National Party Congress (held in January 2011) by the Central Committee elected Trương Tấn Sang, the current President, the first-ranking member of the Politburo.[10] This was the first time in Vietnamese history where the highest-ranking member of the Politburo does not hold post of either General Secretary or Chairman (was in existence from 1951 to 1969) of the party.[11][not in citation given][12] Since Trương Tấn Sang is first-ranked member of the Politburo, he is the body's unofficial head. Politburo meetings are held regularly; decisions within the Politburo are made through collective decision-making, and policies are only enacted if a majority of Politburo members supports them.[13]

Duties, powers and responsibilities[edit]

Coat of arms of Vietnam.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Vietnam

The President is the head of state of Vietnam, and his main priority is to represent Vietnam internally and externally.[1] The officeholder is elected by the National Assembly of Vietnam, is responsible to it and reports to it. The tenure of the President is five years, the same as that of the National Assembly. The President continues to serve in his functions until the National Assembly elects a successor.[14] The President has the following executive and legislative powers:[15]

  • He promulgates laws, decree-laws and the Constitution.[15]
  • He acts as the country's commander-in-chief and holds the office of Chairman of the National Defense and Security Council.[15]
  • He can propose to the National Assembly the election or dismissal from office of the Vice President, the Prime Minister, the President of the Supreme People's Court and the Head of the Supreme People's Office of Supervision and Control.[15]
  • The President can appoint or dismiss deputy prime ministers, ministers and other members of government.[15]
  • The President can proclaim a state of war or amnesty on the basis of a National Assembly resolution.[15]
  • On the basis of a Standing Committee resolution, the President can order a general or partial mobilisation, or can proclaim a state of emergency nationwide or in a particular region.[15]
  • The President can propose that the Standing Committee review its decree-laws and resolutions on matters stipulated in Points 8 and 9, Article 91, within the space of ten days following their adoption; if those decree-laws and resolutions are again passed by the Standing Committee of the National Assembly with the country's President dissenting, the latter shall report the matter to the National Assembly for it to decide the issue at its nearest session.[15]
  • The President can appoint or dismiss the vice presidents and judges of the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Office of Supervision and Control Deputy Head.[15]
  • He confers titles and ranks on senior officers of the Vietnam People's Armed Forces and bestows "diplomatic titles and ranks, and other State titles and ranks; to confer medals, badges and State honours and distinctions".[15]
  • The President can appoint and recall ambassadors extraordinary and plenipotentiary, and can receive foreign ambassadors extraordinary and plenipotentiary, to negotiate and sign international agreements on behalf of the Socialist Republic with the Heads of other States; he can approve or join international agreements, except in cases where a decision by the National Assembly is necessary.[15]
  • He can grant Vietnamese nationality, release from Vietnamese nationality, or deprive of Vietnamese nationality.[15]
  • He can grant pardons.[15]

The National Defense and Security Council (NDSC) is composed of the President, the Vice President and other members. The members of the NDSC are proposed by the President and approved by the National Assembly. NDSC members do not need to be members of the National Assembly. The decision-making process of the NDSC is that of a collective leadership. Among its powers is the right to mobilise all forces in the name of national defense, and in case of war the National Assembly can entrust the NDSC with special duties and powers.[16]

Living former presidents[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Political system". Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "Article 50 of the 1946/1959 Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam". Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ "Articles 61–70 of the 1946/1959 Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam". Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. ^ Ronald J. Cima. "Constitutional Evolution". Vietnam: A country study (Ronald J. Cima, ed.). Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress of the USA (December 1987).  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  5. ^ a b USA International Business Publications 2007, p. 94.
  6. ^ "Article 101 of the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam". Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  7. ^ Duong 2008, p. 135.
  8. ^ Porter 1993, p. 77.
  9. ^ USA International Business Publications 2007, p. 23.
  10. ^ "Party Congress announces CPVCC Politburo members". Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. 19 January 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  11. ^ Staff writer. "Political Bureau". Ban chấp hành Trung ương, Bộ Chính trị, Ban Bí thư [Central Committee, Politburo, Secretariat] (in Vietnamese). Communist Party of Vietnam. pp. I–X. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  12. ^ Staff writer. "Đồng chí Nguyễn Phú Trọng được bầu làm Tổng Bí thư" [Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong is elected General Secretary]. Bao Yen Bai (in Vietnamese). Communist Party of Vietnam. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  13. ^ Staff writer. "Điều lệ Đảng Cộng sản Việt Nam thông qua tại Đại hội đại biểu toàn quốc lần thứ XI của Đảng" [The Charter of the Communist Party of Vietnam which was approved at the 11th National Congress]. 11th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  14. ^ "Article 102 of the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam". Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Article 103 of the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam". Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  16. ^ "Article 104 of the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam". Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Duong, Van Nguyen (2008). The Tragedy of the Vietnam War: A South Vietnamese Officer's Analysis. McFarland. ISBN 978-0786432851. 
  • Porter, Gareth (1993). Vietnam: The Politics of Bureaucratic Socialism. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0801421686. 
  • USA International Business Publications (2007). Vietnam Foreign Policy and Government Guide. Int'l Business Guide. ISBN 978-1433058745.