Hu Jintao re-elected China's president | world | Hindustan Times
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Hu Jintao re-elected China's president

China's parliament re-elected Hu Jintao as president on Saturday and gave next generation leader Xi Jinping a five-year mandate as vice-president.

world Updated: Mar 15, 2008 14:17 IST

China's parliament re-elected Hu Jintao as president on Saturday and gave next generation leader Xi Jinping a five-year mandate as vice-president.

The National People's Congress, or parliament, re-elected Hu as president with 2,956 votes for, three against and five abstentions.

Xi, who catapulted to the top echelon of power and joined the Communist Party's nine-member Politburo Standing Committee last October, collected 2,919 votes with 28 against and 17 abstentions.

Hu, who doubles as Party chief, was also re-elected chairman of the state Central Military Commission with 2,959 votes, four against and four abstentions.

The president will nominate a premier, who is widely expected to be endorsed by the rubber-stamp parliament on Sunday.

Current Vice President Zeng Qinghong hugged Xi, Hu and parliament chief Wu Bangguo in a light-hearted moment for a meeting which is normally marked by its stiff adherence to protocol and is attended by largely colourless officials.

Wu was also reelected, and 13 people elected as vice chairmen of the parliament's standing committee.

Though almost every delegate toed the Party line in voting for Hu as president and head of the military, some people chose to write in their own choices on the ballot.

One person nominated former president Jiang Zemin for president, and another former premier Zhu Rongji for military commission chief, prompting laughter in the gallery where journalists were seated.

(Reporting by Guo Shipeng and Ben Blanchard)