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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        19 January 2011

Vietnam appoints new party leader

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Politburo member Nguyen Phu Trong has been elected as the new Party General Secretary for the next five-year term.

The election result was announced by Politburo member Truong Tan Sang before the 11th National Party Congress concluded its eight-day sitting in Hanoi this morning.

Sang also announced 14 new Politburo members: 1. Truong Tan Sang, 2. Phung Quang Thanh, 3. Nguyen Tan Dung, 4. Nguyen Sinh Hung, 5. Le Hong Anh, 6. Le Thanh Hai, 7. To Huy Rua, 8. Nguyen Phu Trong (General Secretary), 9. Pham Quang Nghi, 10. Tran Dai Quang, 11. Tong Thi Phong, 12. Ngo Van Du, 13. Dinh The Huynh, 14. Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

New members of the Party Central Committee's Secretariat were also elected. They are Ngo Xuan Lich, Truong Hoa Binh, Ha Thi Khiet and Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

Twenty-one members were selected for the 11th Committtee's Inspection Commission, chaired by Ngo Van Du.

Outgoing Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh formally handed over the position to the new leader.

Trong, who has been National Assembly chairman, said the appointment was a great honor and encouragement to all new members of the Party Central Committee and Politburo. He said the new positions would bring them both advantages and challenges.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More

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