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  • The President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 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 Defense 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.