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Bounnhang Vorachith (Lao: ບຸນຍັງ ວໍລະຈິດ; born 15 August 1937 or 1938)[3][4][5] is a Laotian politician who has been General Secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (de facto leader) and President of Laos (de jure head of state) since 2016. Previously he served as Deputy Prime Minister from 1996 to 2001, as Prime Minister from 2001 to 2006, and as Vice President of Laos from 2006 to 2016.

Bounnhang Vorachith
ບຸນຍັງ ວໍລະຈິດ
Bounnhang Vorachith 2016 (cropped).jpg
General Secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party
Assumed office
22 January 2016
Preceded byChoummaly Sayasone
President of Laos
Assumed office
20 April 2016
Prime MinisterThongloun Sisoulith
Vice PresidentPhankham Viphavan
Preceded byChoummaly Sayasone
4th Vice President of Laos
In office
8 June 2006 – 20 April 2016
PresidentChoummaly Sayasone
Preceded byChoummaly Sayasone
Succeeded byPhankham Viphavan
14th Prime Minister of Laos
In office
27 March 2001 – 8 June 2006
PresidentKhamtai Siphandon
Preceded bySisavath Keobounphanh
Succeeded byBouasone Bouphavanh
Personal details
Born (1938-08-15) 15 August 1938 (age 81)
Savannakhet, Laos
Political partyLao People's Revolutionary Party
Spouse(s)Khammeung Vorachith
Military service
AllegianceFlag of Laos.svg Laos
Branch/serviceEmblem of Lao People's Army.svg LPAF
Rank10.LPAF-COL.png Colonel[1][2]

Early lifeEdit

Boungnang Vorachith joined the Pathet Lao resistance movement in 1951 and worked in the propaganda department of the armed forces in Savannakhet. In 1956, he was transferred to the fighting troops. He studied in Vietnam from 1958 to 1961, then returned to Laos to help prepare for the conquest of Luang Namtha Province. After the victory in Luang Namtha in 1962, he returned to Vietnam and studied at a military college.[6]

In 1964, he returned to Laos and in 1969, became head of the organizing committee of the province Xieng Khuang. In 1972, he became Deputy Commander of the Northern Front in Luang Prabang Province. Here he also joined the coalition in 1974 and became party secretary of the defence forces of the neutral city Luang Prabang. In 1976 he became political leader of the armed forces of the northern half of the country. In 1978, he returned to Vietnam to study political theory. In 1981, he became political leader of the armed forces, and in the same year up to 1991, he also worked as Governor of Savannakhet Province until 1996, when he became Deputy Prime Minister.

Political careerEdit

Prior to becoming Prime Minister in 2001, he served as Deputy Prime Minister since 1996. In addition, he was from 1996 to 1999 Chairman of the Lao-Vietnamese Cooperation Committee and from 1999 to 2001 Minister of Finance. On 26 March 2001, he was elected Chairman of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister) of Laos. On 8 June 2006, he was followed by the former 1st Deputy Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh in the office of Prime Minister. He himself became vice-president of the Democratic People's Republic of Laos on March 8, 2006 and thus deputy to Choummaly Sayasone.

Bounnhang's ties with Vietnam run deep. He underwent military training there and, after taking part in founding the Lao People's Democratic Republic in 1975, he studied socialist thought there.[6]

He became Vice President on 8 June 2006, when Bouasone Bouphavanh was appointed as Prime Minister. At the 10th Congress of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, he was elected to succeed Choummaly Sayasone as General Secretary on 22 January 2016, effectively making him the leader of Laos.[7] Boungnang Vorachith is married to Khammeung Vorachith and father of three sons and two daughters.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ McPhillips, Jody (Aug 15, 2001). "Lao Prime Minister Begins Three-Day Visit". The Cambodia Daily. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2019-02-09. Retrieved 2019-02-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Asian Survey". University of California Press. May 8, 2006. Retrieved May 8, 2019 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "ຊີວະປະຫວັດຫຍໍ້ຂອງ ທ່ານ ບຸນຍັງ ວໍລະຈິດ". Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  5. ^ "ທ່ານ ບຸນຍັງ ວໍລະຈິດ - China Radio International". laos.cri.cn. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Profile: Laos' new president is last of old guard- Nikkei Asian Review". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  7. ^ "Ruling communists in Laos promote VP as country's new leader", Associated Press, 22 January 2016.

External linksEdit

Party political offices
Preceded by
Choummaly Sayasone
General Secretary of the People's Revolutionary Party
2016–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Sisavath Keobounphanh
Prime Minister of Laos
2001–2006
Succeeded by
Bouasone Bouphavanh
Preceded by
Choummaly Sayasone
Vice President of Laos
2006–2016
Succeeded by
Phankham Viphavan
President of Laos
2016–present
Incumbent
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Najib Razak
Chairperson of ASEAN
2016
Succeeded by
Rodrigo Duterte