Khamtai Siphandone

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General Khamtai Siphandone (Lao: ຄຳໄຕ ສີພັນດອນ; born 8 February 1924)[1] is a Laotian politician who was Chairman of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party from 24 November 1992 to 21 March 2006 and President of Laos[2] from 24 February 1998 to 8 June 2006, when he was replaced by Choummaly Sayasone. He was a member of the Communist Party of Indochina in 1954 and a member of the Central Committee of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party in 1956.

Khamtai Siphandone
ຄຳໄຕ ສີພັນດອນ
The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh meeting with the President of Laos, Mr. Khamtay Siphandone at Vientiane in Laos on November 29, 2004 (cropped).jpg
Siphandone in 2004
2nd Chairman of the Central Committee of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party
In office
24 November 1992 – 21 March 2006
Preceded byKaysone Phomvihane
Succeeded byChoummaly Sayasone (as General Secretary)
4th President of Laos
In office
24 February 1998 – 8 June 2006
Prime MinisterSisavath Keobounphanh
Bounnhang Vorachith
Vice PresidentOudom Khattigna
Choummaly Sayasone
Preceded byNouhak Phoumsavanh
Succeeded byChoummaly Sayasone
12th Prime Minister of Laos
In office
15 August 1991 – 24 February 1998
PresidentKaysone Phomvihane
Nouhak Phoumsavanh
Preceded byKaysone Phomvihane
Succeeded bySisavath Keobounphanh
Deputy Prime Minister of Laos
In office
2 December 1975 – 15 August 1991
Minister of Defense
In office
2 December 1975 – 15 August 1991
Prime MinisterKaysone Phomvihane
Preceded byPost established
Succeeded byChoummaly Sayasone
Personal details
Born (1924-02-08) 8 February 1924 (age 98)
Champasak, French Protectorate of Laos (now Laos)
Political partyLao People's Revolutionary Party

Early lifeEdit

Siphandone comes from a peasant family from the far south of Laos. His first job was as a postman. He joined the national liberation movement Lao Issara after the end of the Second World War, which stood for the independence of Laos and against the return of the French protectorate administration. Before the French regained control of Savannakhet in March 1946, Siphandone seized the entire provincial fund (150,000 piastres). He became an officer of the armed wing of the movement and in 1948 their representative for southern Laos. After the split of Lao Issara in 1950 he joined the Pro-Vietnamese-backed Pathet Lao.[3]

In 1954 he became a member of the Communist Party of Indochina, 1955 Lao People's Party, whose central committee he was from 1957. He was considered a close confidant of the first Secretary-General Kaysone Phomvihane. In 1962 he became his successor as chief of staff of the armed units of the Pathet Lao. In 1966 he became commander-in-chief of the resulting "Lao People's Liberation Army", which fought with North Vietnamese support in the Laotian civil war against the royal troops. In 1972 he rose to the Politburo of the LPRP.[3]

Political careerEdit

After the Communist takeover in 1975, he became Minister of Defense and Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers. He held this office for 16 years. After Kaysone and Nouhak Phoumsavanh he was from the 5th party congress in 1991 number three in the party leadership. On 15 August 1991, he became Kaysone's successor as successor. After the death of longtime party leader Kaysone 1992 Siphandone rose to the top of the state party LPRP.

He was the military commander of the Pathet Lao rebellion. On its takeover of the Laotian government in 1975 he became minister of defence, commander of the army, and a deputy prime minister. On the creation of chairmanship of LPRP q the in 1991, he became prime minister, succeeding party leader Kaysone Phomvihane, who became president. Siphandone became party leader on Kaysone's death, and succeeded Nouhak Phoumsavanh as president in 1998. At the 8th Party Congress in 2006, he became an Advisor to the LPRP Central Committee.

Siphandone remained as party leader until 21 March 2006, when he was replaced by Choummaly. As expected, he stepped down as President soon after the 30 April 2006, National Assembly elections.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Joseph Chinyong Liow, Dictionary of the Modern Politics of Southeast Asia (fourth edition, 2015), Routledge, page 212.
  2. ^ Doeden, Matt (2007) Laos in Pictures, Lerner Publishing Group, ISBN 978-0-8225-6590-1, p. 71
  3. ^ a b Stuart-Fox: Historical Dictionary of Laos. 2008, S. 160.
Party political offices
Preceded by President of the Lao Front for National Construction
1991 – 2001
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chairman of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party
1992 – 2006
Succeeded by
Choummaly Sayasone
(General Secretary)
Political offices
Preceded by
None
Minister for Defence of Laos
1975 – 1991
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of Laos
1991 – 1998
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of Laos
1998 – 2006
Succeeded by
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by Chairperson of ASEAN
2004
Succeeded by