Vietnam’s outgoing parliament convened for a final session on Monday that will see a new leadership and cabinet take office three months early, ditching the normal route of the public electing a new legislature first.

Nguyen Tan Dung

The National Assembly said the move was to expedite a drawn-out transition and put a new government to work sooner rather than wait for a parliamentary election in May and house endorsement in July.

That means Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will be relieved of his duties earlier than expected, hastening his controversial exit following a Communist Party congress in January at which he was overlooked for the top post of party chief.

Dung has served the maximum two terms as premier and has no future political role. Despite his popularity as an economic liberal who stood up to China’s maritime assertiveness, experts say party stalwarts feared Dung could become a strongman in a country traditionally ruled by consensus. Read More

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