Topic: Vo Van Kiet

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Võ Văn Kiệt (23 November 1922 - 11 June 2008) was a Vietnamese politician and statesman. He was Prime Minister of Vietnam from 8 August 1991 to 25 September 1997. He was one of the Vietnamese political leaders that led the innovation (Đổi mới) policy in Vietnam. His birth name was Phan Văn Hòa and he changed it to Võ Văn Kiệt when he joined the Indochinese Communist Party. He also had a pseudonym, Sáu Dân.

Kiệt was born into a peasant family in Trung Hiệp village, Vũng Liêm district, Vĩnh Long province in southern Vietnam, then a part of Cochinchina in what was called French Indochina. He was admitted to the Indochinese Communist Party in 1939. He joined the Anti-imperialist Youth Movement and took part in the Nam Kỳ (Cochinchina) insurrection in Vũng Liêm district.

As a member of the communist-led Viet Minh independence movement, Kiệt fought the French in the First Indochina War (1946-1954) in Southern Vietnam and went North following the division of the country according to the Geneva Accords of 1954. In 1960, he was elected alternate member of the Communist Party Central Committee and became a full member in 1972. In 1976, following the reunification of the country, he was appointed Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee and he returned to Southern Vietnam to assume the position of Chairman of the People’s Committee of Hồ Chí Minh City (formerly known as Saigon). Soon after, he was elected alternate member of the Politburo of the CPV and made Secretary of the Party Committee of Hồ Chí Minh City.

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