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High Legislative Council

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In the Republic of Vietnam, the High Legislative Council, also known as the High National Council, was a Buddhist-dominated 17-member government-selecting body by Gen. Nguyen Khanh but run by Duong Van Minh, which originally formed a government in September 1964. [1] Initially, it had Pham Khac Suu as head of state and Tran Van Huong as Premier and head of government.

It was seen as neutralist. [2]

A new Khanh group, called the "Young Turks", tried to have the Council retire all officers with 25 years of seniority, but they refused. [3]. Khanh dissolved the council in December, arresting several members, although he temporarily retained Suu and Huong, dismissing them later in the month.

The dismissals led to a humiliating summons to an audience, for Minh and several of the Young Turks, with U.S. Ambassador Maxwell Taylor, who lectured them about inappropriate actions. Taylor then went to several groups to push the resignation of the Young Turks, which caused considerable resentment over U.S. interference and eventual pushback. The angry Khanh made contact with NLF Vice-president Huynh Tan Phat, exploring working together for nationalist reasons, but Khanh was exiled before any real actions took place.[4]

Khanh, according to INR, created a new tension with the Buddhists that Huong had not, and also may have been approaching Hanoi much as he had accused Minh.

On January 27, 1965, Khanh took effective control of the government, removing Premier Tran Van Huong and replacing him with Oanh.

Oanh lasted a little more than two weeks, being replaced by Phan Huy Quat became Premier on February 15, replacing Oanh. Quat had been Minister of Education and Minister of Defense under Bao Dai, and was strongly affiliated with Buddhist political leader Tri Quang. Quat stayed in office until June 11, under protests from Catholics, Cao Dai and Hoa Hao. There were also accusations that the military forced them out for entertaining a neutralist solution. [5]


  1. Moyar, Mark (2006), Triumph Forsaken, Cambridge University Press, p. 328
  2. Topmiller, Robert J., The Lotus Unleashed: The Buddhist Peace Movement in South Vietnam, 1964-1966, University Press of Kentucky p. 28
  3. Moyar, pp. 343-344
  4. Moyar, pp. 345-347
  5. Topmiller, p. 28