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Vietnam assumes new name, Hanoi capital

By UPI Staff

BANGKOK, Thailand (UPI) - Vietnam's national assembly today officially changed the country's name, made Hanoi the capital and inserted a lone southern Communist into the top leadership, Radio Hanoi said.

The 492-member body elected in April had already ratified all but the government makeup by voice vote during its first session last week, but today's voting made it official, the broadcast said.

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Nguyen Hu Tho, chairman of the Advisory Council of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam, was elected Vietnam's second vice president. No other leadership changes were announced.

The official broadcast monitored in Bangkok said the assembly agreed that effective immediately "the new name of the country is the Socialist Republic of Vietnam."

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The North Vietnamese red flag with a five-point gold star was reaffirmed as the national emblem and Saigon was officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City.

Ton Due Thang, 82, was retained as president of the newly-unified nation and Nguyen Luong Bang, another aged revolutionary, continued as first vice president. Truong Chinh also retained his seat as chairman of the national assembly, Radio Hanoi said.

Voting for the government leadership was by secret ballot. Other votes were by show of hands.

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Other government officials were not named by the radio, but it was believed the current North Vietnamese apparatus will continue to run the country until a new constitution is drafted.

Tho, a Saigon lawyer, is probably the southern Communist leader best-known abroad after Nguyen Thi Bin, South Vietnam's woman foreign minister who plays a prominent part in the Paris peace talks.

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