Vietnam legislature convenes to elect leaders

July 20, 2016
From left, Vietnamese Communist Party Central Committee's Mass Mobilization Chief Truong Thi Mai, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Chief Justice of the Supreme People's Court Truong Hoa Binh and Communist Party's Standing Secretary of Secretariat of the Central Committee Dinh The Huynh walk to the opening session of the 14th National Assembly in Hanoi, Vietnam Wednesday, July 20, 2016. The Assembly is expected to reappoint the country leaders, who were elected in April. (AP Photo/Hau Dinh)

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnamese Communist Party-dominated National Assembly on Wednesday opened its first session following May elections to elect the country’s top leaders.

The 494 deputies are widely expected to reappoint President Tran Dai Quang, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and the assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan. They were elected to their positions by the outgoing assembly in April.

Only 20 of the deputies are not members of the ruling Communist Party.

The May elections for the rubber-stamp parliament are held every five years.

Speaking at the opening of the 14th National Assembly, Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong called for greater efforts for the country’s development.

He said the assembly begins its tenure at a time “when the world and regional situation has seen complicated ... while domestic situation is intertwined between opportunities and difficulties and challenges, which require our whole people and the military to have greater efforts, determination and unity to bring our country out of difficulties for sustainable development.”

The Vietnamese economy of 92 million people has moderated in the first half of this year, expanding 5.5 percent compared with 6.3 percent growth in the same period last year, according to the World Bank.

The World Bank report released Tuesday attributed the slower growth to the impact of a severe drought on agricultural production and slower industrial growth.

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