Vietnam Communist party forms new ruling triumvirate with election of PM

61-year-old Phuc says his priority would be to achieve the growth targets for the economy, which expanded 6.7 percent in 2015.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc was elected Vietnam's new prime minister on Thursday, completing the formation of the ruling triumvirate which was set in motion in the Communist Party Congress in January.

The nomination of Phuc, a former bureaucrat and legislator, was approved by Vietnam's parliament with 446 of 490 lawmakers supporting him.

"As the head of state's highest organ, the executive organ of the National Assembly, the Government members and I will strive to build a strong and united Government," Phuc said after he was sworn in.

He said one of his priorities would be to achieve the growth targets for the economy, which expanded 6.7 percent in 2015.

61-year-old Phuc takes over from Nguyen Tan Dung, who stepped down after completing two five-year terms as the prime minister.

"Phuc certainly will be lower key than the hard-charging Dung, We should expect him to operate within the consensus of the ruling politburo. He will have seen the impact on Dung of his more flamboyant, independent style," Murray Hiebert, a Southeast Asia specialist at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Reuters.

The Communist Party Congress in January nominated only Phuc for the prime minister's position. The prime minister is one of the three paramount positions of power in Vietnam, where the Communist Party wields overarching control of government. The other two supreme political positions are those of the president and the Communist Party chief.

Earlier this week, Vietnam elected Tran Dai Quang, a former head of internal security organisation, as the president.

At its 5-yearly Congress in January the Vietnamese Communist Party re-elected Nguyen Phu Trong as the general-secretary for a second term.

Party secretary is seen as the most powerful official in the ruling triumvirate, though a 19-member politburo is the all-powerful body and it decides the government's policies and controls the everyday activities of the government.

Outgoing prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung was reportedly in the race for the position of the party boss.

Vietnam's over 9 million population does not directly take part in the election of their leaders. The all powerful communist party, which has more than 4 million members, reserves the right to choose the rulers.