BANGKOK, Thailand — President Truong Chinh was elected leader of Vietnam's Communist Party today, Radio Hanoi said, making him the most powerful man in the country since the death of Ho Chi Minh.
The selection of Chinh, 79, a political survivor known as a conservative Marxist ideologue, comes four days after the death of his longtime rival, Le Duan, and indicated a desire for continuity among the party's aging leadership, the radio said.
The radio gave a long resume of Chinh's career, beginning with his role in founding the party. It passed over his party activities for the 16 years after 1956, when he was sacked from his post as general secretary to take the blame for popular uprisings against his collectivization policies.
Chinh was replaced then by Le Duan, a former rival, who held the general secretary post until his death on Thursday.