The President of Vietnam (Vietnamese: Chủ tịch nước Việt Nam), officially styled the President of the Socialist Republic (Vietnamese: Chủ tịch nước Cộng hoà xã hội chủ nghĩa), represents the Socialist Republic of Vietnam internally and externally as the head of state, maintains the regular and coordinated operation and stability of the national government system and safeguards the independence and territorial integrity of the country. The President appoints prime ministers, vice presidents, ministers and other officials with the consent of the National Assembly. The head of state is the commander-in-chief of the Vietnam People's Armed Forces and Chairman of the Council for Defence and Security. The tenure of the President is five years, and a president can only serve two terms. If the President becomes unable to discharge duties of office, the Vice President assumes the office of acting president until the President resumes duty, or until the election of a new president.
The powers and prestige of the office of President have varied over the years. For instance, while the inaugural president, Hồ Chí Minh, was the first ranking member of the Communist Party's Politburo, the highest decision-making body in Vietnam, his successor, Tôn Đức Thắng, served as a symbolic figure. Since Trường Chinh's ascension to the presidency, the President has been a high-ranking member in the Politburo. The current President, Trương Tấn Sang, is the Politburo's highest-ranking member, the first time in history were the top decision maker in the Politburo does not concurrently hold a high-ranking party office.
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“I was proud of the youths who opposed the war in Vietnam because they were my babies.”
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—Woodrow Wilson (18561924)