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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 June 2006, 13:58 GMT 14:58 UK
Vietnamese leaders resign posts
Outgoing PM Phan Van Khai
Mr Khai's announcement is part of a long-expected reshuffle
Vietnam's top three leaders have resigned, saying they want to make way for younger politicians.

The National Assembly in Hanoi approved the resignations of President Tran Duc Luong, Prime Minister Phan Van Khai, and Assembly Speaker Nguyen Van An.

They are in their seventies or late sixties, and failed to win re-election to the Communist Party Politburo.

PM Khai, 72, is best known for driving through market reforms that transformed the Vietnamese economy in the 1990s.

The resignations were announced on Saturday by the General Secretary of the Communist Party, Nong Duc Manh.

He told the National Assembly that because of their age and the policy of rejuvenation of the leadership, the three leaders had expressed their intention of not standing for re-election.

The BBC's Bill Hayton, in Hanoi, says that since Vietnam is a one-party state, the Communist Party will actually appoint their successors.

Deputies have been meeting behind closed doors to discuss new names due to be endorsed in the coming week.

The new president is expected to be Nguyen Minh Triet and the new Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, currently deputy prime minister and seen as an economic liberal.

Both men come from the south of the country.

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