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President Nguyen Minh Triet

Nguyen Minh Triet was president of Vietnam from 2006 to 2011. Nguyen Minh Triet was elected State President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam at the ninth session of the 11th National Assembly in June 2006. With 94.12 percent of votes in favor, Politburo member Nguyen Minh Triet was officially elected as State President. Triet received 417 ballots in favour out of total 473 counted, accounting for 94.12 percent. In his swearing-in address, the new State President vowed to try his best to serve the Nation and people. Right after that, Mr Triet introduced Politburo member Nguyen Tan Dzung to the post of Prime Minister.

Triet said that over the past years, the Doi Moi (renewal) process initiated and guided by the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) has recorded tremendous achievements, helping improve peoples living standards and heighten Vietnams international position. "To contribute to successfully accomplishing the tasks of national construction and defence, in my new position, I wish to receive wholehearted cooperation from NA deputies, great support from all people living inside and outside the country, and regular assistance from social organisations to help me accomplish all tasks assigned by the NA. The achievements obtained by the Party and State in internal and external relations over the past years were partially attributed contributions by former State President Tran Duc Luong, my predecessor."

Although the presidency of Vietnam is a largely ceremonial position -- the prime minister oversees the day-to-day functions of government -- Triet took a more active role in politics, using the prestige of his position to win support for more business-friendly policies and greater economic liberalization. Nguyen Minh Triet was re-elected as State President of Viet Nam with 98.78 percent of votes at the 24 July 2007 seating of the first session of the 12th National Assembly. Delivering an oath-taking speech, the President spoke of his major tasks for the new term with emphasis on building a law-governed socialist State of the people, by the people and for the people. Our State must function as a main tool to implement the peoples democratic rights under the Partys leadership, said President Triet. He pledged to cooperate with the 12th NA in building and perfecting the law system, raising the quality of the implementation of its rights to supervise, consider and make decisions on the countrys important issues.

Nguyen Minh Triet was born into a farming family on October 8, 1942 in Phu An Commune, Ben Cat District, Binh Duong Province -- which lies directly to the north of Ho Chi Minh City [then Saigon] in southern Vietnam. He was admitted to the Communist Party of Viet Nam on March 30, 1965, and became a full Party member on March 30, 1966. He has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, Political Science.

From 1960 to November 1963 he was a student in Mathematics Faculty, Saigon University. He took part in the Sai Gon Students Movement, joined the revolutionary base and worked in the Sai Gon-Gia Dinh area. December 1963 to 1973: Cadre of the Central Committee of the Peoples Revolutionary Youth Union and the Youth Mobilisation of the Party Central Committees Department for South Viet Nam, and Secretary of the Agencys Youth Union. Sent to battlefield in My Tho Province.

1974 to August 1979: Deputy Director of the Office Department of the Youth Union, Deputy Chief of the Youth Union Central Committees Board for Voluntary Young People. September 1979 to July 1981: Enrolled at the High-level Nguyen Ai Quoc Party School. July 1981 to December 1987: Head of the Youth Union Central Committees Board for Voluntary Young People, Secretary of the Party Committee of the Youth Union Central Committee in HCM City, member of the Youth Union Central Committees Executive Board, Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee, Deputy President and General Secretary of the Viet Nam Youth Association.

January 1988 to September 1989: Appointed additional member of the Party Committee of southern Song Be Province. October 1989 to December 1991: Permanent Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of Song Be Province. Elected member of the Party Central Committee at the seventh National Party Congress (June 1991). December 1991 to December 1996: Member of the Communist Party Central Committee, Secretary of the Party Committee of Song Be Province, elected to the Communist Party Central Committee at the eighth National Party Congress, and deputy to the ninth National Assembly.

In the late 1990s, as head of the Communist Party in the country's business capital Ho Chi Minh City, Triet led a campaign against the gangster known as Nam Cam. In the process he brought down many local politicians and officials, establishing a reputation as a campaigner against corruption. January 1997 to December 1997: Member of the Communist Party Central Committee, Deputy Secretary of the HCM City Party Committee. December 1997 to January 2000: Elected to the Politburo at the fourth Conference of the eighth Party Central Committee, Director of the Central Party Committees Commission for Mass Mobilisation.

January 2000 to now: Politburo member, Secretary of the HCM City Party Committee, elected to the Communist Party Central Committee and Politburo at the ninth National Party Congress (April 2001), deputy to the 11th National Assembly (May 2002), elected to the Communist Party Central Committee and Politburo at the tenth National Party Congress (April 2006).

President Triet had a reputation as an economic reformer and anti-corruption crusader. In addition, he had proven to be more competent and dynamic than his predecessor and his retirement would be a loss for the Party's economic reform wing. Politburo members' feared that Triet stepping down would not look good, showing just how focused they were on public opinion. Sentiment among private sector Vietnamese business leaders in the south tended to support this view. While PM Dung was frequently the target of complaints about the GVN's lack of success in reigning in corruption and the excesses of giant State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), President Triet had been almost entirely immune to such criticisms. The worst complaints against Triet tended to be that he should be more active in pushing his pro-reform agenda.

In September 2004, Triet was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The HCMC Party leader had been widely mentioned as a leading contender for Prime Minister when incumbent Phan Van Khai's term ends in 2007. In an internal straw poll of the Party's Central Committee in June 2004, Triet was selected as first option to replace Van Khai, with fellow southerners and politburo members Truong Tan Sang and Nguyen Tan Dung ranked second and third respectively. Triet indicated that he would prefer to see Dung as PM rather than Sang.



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