The politics of the Lao People's Democratic Republic (commonly known as Laos) takes place in the framework of a one-party socialist republic. The only legal political party is the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP). The head of state is President Thongloun Sisoulith, who is also the LPRP general secretary, making him the supreme leader of Laos. The head of government is Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh.
Government policies are determined by the party through the all-powerful nine-member Politburo and the 49-member Central Committee. Important government decisions are vetted by the Council of Ministers.
The FY 2000 central government budget plan called for revenue of $180 million and expenditures of $289 million, including capital expenditures of $202 million.
Laos' first, French-written and monarchical constitution was promulgated on May 11, 1947 and declared it to be an independent state within the French Union. The revised constitution of May 11, 1957, omitted reference to the French Union, though close educational, health and technical ties with the former colonial power persisted. The 1957 document was abrogated on December 3, 1975, when a communist state was proclaimed.
A new constitution was adopted in 1991 and enshrined a "leading role" for the LPRP. The following year, elections were held for a new 85-seat National Assembly with members elected by secret ballot to five-year terms. This National Assembly approves all new laws, although the executive branch retains authority to issue binding decrees.
The most recent election took place in March 2016.
In the early 2000s, bomb attacks against the government occurred, coupled with small exchanges of fire, across Laos. A variety of different groups have claimed responsibility including the Committee for Independence and Democracy in Laos and Lao Citizens Movement for Democracy.
|President||Bounnhang Vorachith||Lao People's Revolutionary Party||20 April 2016|
|Prime Minister||Thongloun Sisoulith||Lao People's Revolutionary Party||20 April 2016|
The president is elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term. The prime minister and the Council of Ministers are appointed by the president with the approval of the National Assembly for a five-year term.
There are also four deputy prime ministers. As of a cabinet reshuffle on June 8, 2006, they are Maj. Gen. Douangchay Phichit (also defense minister), Thongloun Sisoulith (also foreign minister), Somsavat Lengsavad and Maj. Gen. Asang Laoly.
The 28-member cabinet also includes Onechanh Thammavong as labour minister, Chaleuan Yapaoher as justice minister, Nam Vignaket as industry and commerce minister, Sitaheng Latsaphone as agriculture minister and Sommad Pholsena as transport minister.
The National Assembly (Sapha Heng Xat) has 164 members (158 are LPRP, 6 independents), elected for a five-year term.
Political parties and electionsEdit
|Lao People's Revolutionary Party||144||+16|
|General Secretary||Bounnhang Vorachith||Lao People's Revolutionary Party||22 January 2016|
Supreme People's CourtEdit
According to Article 91 of the Constitution of the Lao PDR, the People's Court of the Lao People's Democratic Republic "consists of the Supreme People's Court, the local people's court and the military court as defined by law".
The Supreme People's Court of the Lao People's Democratic Republic was established in 1982. As outlined in Article 92, the People's Supreme Court of the Lao People's Democratic Republic is the highest judicial body and "examines the judgments and judgments of the people's courts and military courts". There has been indications that women have served on the provincial courts. For instance, in 2018, it was announced that Napaporn Phong Thai was appointed as the President of Court Zone 2, Xayaburi Province.
Per Article 93, the President, Vice President and the judges are appointed, transferred or removed by the Standing Committee of the National Assembly. Although the Standing Committee has decisive authority, the same article does state that President does have some power regarding the appointment, transferal or removal of the Vice President.
In 1983, Oun Nue Phimmasone became the first President of the People's Supreme Court. Currently, the President is Khamphanh Sithidampha.
Public Prosecutor's OfficeEdit
The Public Prosecutor's Office was established in 1990. Article 99 of the Constitution of Laos states that the office has the responsibility of "monitor[ing] the observance and implementation of laws throughout the country, protect[ing] the rights of the state and society...[and] the legitimate interests of the people, and prosecut[ing] detainees in accordance with the law". The office is organized in the following three ways:
Supreme People's Prosecutor
- The Office of the Supreme People's Prosecutor
- The Office of the Public Prosecutor at the appellate level
Local People's Procuratorate
- Provincial and city public prosecutors' offices
- District, Municipal Public Prosecutor's Office (district or municipal public prosecutors are called local public prosecutors)
Military Prosecutor's Office
Currently, the Supreme People's Prosecutor is Khamsane Souvong.
Laos Bar AssociationEdit
As for attorneys in general, according to a 2016 article, there are 188 lawyers in Laos who are members of the Laos Bar Association. However, most of the attorneys have entered the government sector and do not practice law—seldom giving thought to practicing in the private sector. While there is evidence of female lawyers in Laos, there is no indication as to how women have fared in the legal field. Pursuant to the Resolution of the National Assembly No. 024 / NA (On the Adoption of the Law on Lawyers; November 9, 2016), requirements include possessing a baccalaureate degree, being a Laos citizen and passing an examination (separate requirements exist for foreign lawyers). Although the Laos Bar Association issues certificates to graduates of the legal profession, it is the Ministry of Justice of Laos that sets the legal training standards.
- Agriculture and Forestry Lien Thikeo
- Education and Sports Sengdeuan Lachanthaboun
- Energy and Mines Khammany Inthilath
- Finance Lien Thikeo
- Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith
- Home Affairs (Interior) Khammanh Sounvileuth
- Industry and Commerce Khemmani Pholsena
- Information, Culture and Tourism Bosengkham Vongdara
- Justice Saysi Santhivong
- Labour and Social Welfare Khampheng Saysompheng
- Minister of Post, Telecom and Communications Thansamay Kommasith
- National Defense Chansamone Chanyalath
- Natural Resources and Environment Sommath Pholsena
- Planning and Investment Souphanh Keomixay
- Ministry of Health Bounkong Syhavong
- Public Security Brigadier General Somkeo Silavong
- Public Works and Transport Bounchanh Sinthavong
Presidential Palace OfficeEdit
- Phongsavath Boupha, Minister to Presidential Palace's Office
- Sonxay Siphandone, Minister to the Prime Minister's Office, Head of the government Secretariat committee
- Bounpheng Mounphosay, Minister to Prime Minister's Office, Head the Public Administration and Civil Service Authority (PACSA)
- Bounheuang Douangphachanh, Minister to the Prime Minister's office, Chairman of the National Steering Committee for Rural Development and Poverty Reduction
- Dr Douangsavath Souphanouvong, Minister to Prime Minister's Office
- Dr Bounteim Phitsamai, Minister to Prime Minister's Office
- Khempheng Pholsena, Minister to Prime Minister's Office
- Phupeth Khamphounvong, Minister to the Prime Minister's Office
Somphao Phaysith, Governor of Lao PDR Central Bank
National Assembly (April 2016)Edit
- President of the National Assembly: Pany Yathotou (re-elected)
- Vice-President of the National Assembly: Somphanh Phengkhammy (re-elected), Sengnouan Sayalath, Bounpone Bouttanavong and Sisay Leudethmounsone
Lao People's Revolutionary PartyEdit
- Lt. Gen. Choummaly Sayasone, General Secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party
- Thongsing Thammavong, Prime Minister (since 23 December 2010)
- Colonel Bounnhang Vorachith, Vice President of Lao People's Democratic Republic, Standing Member of the Secretariat
- Pany Yathotou, Chairwoman of the National Assembly (since 23 December 2010)
- Dr Thongloun Sisoulith, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Head of the Party's National External Relations Committee
- Maj. Gen. Asang Laoly, Deputy Prime Minister
- Lt. Gen. Douangchay Phichith, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of National Defence (died in 2014)
- Somsavat Lengsavad, Deputy Prime Minister
- Dr. Bounthong Chitmany, Chairman of the Party Central Committee's Commission for Inspection, Chairman of the State Inspection Committee.
- Dr Bounpone Bouttanavong, Deputy Prime Minister
- Dr. Phankham Viphavanh, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Education and Sports
- Lt. Gen. Choummaly Sayasone
- Bounnhang Vorachit (PCC Standing Secretariat)
- Dr Bounthong Chitmany, Chairman of the Commission for Inspection, Chairman of the State Inspection Committee
- Dr Bounpone Bouttanavong, Head of Lao Party Central Office, Deputy Prime Minister
- Dr Thongban Seng-aphone, Minister of Public Security (died in 2014)
- Chansy Phosikham, Head of the Party's Central Organisation Commission
- Soukan Mahalath, Secretary of the Vientiane City Party Committee, Vientiane Mayor (died in 2014)
- Lt. Gen. Sengnuan Xayalath, Acting Minister of National Defense (June 2014)
- Cheuang Sombounkhanh, Head of the Central Propaganda and Training Commission (died in 2014)
Inspection Committee of the Party Central Committee
- Bounthong Chitmany (President)
- Thongsy Ouanlasy
- Sinay Mienglavanh
- Khamsuan Chanthavong
- Thongsouk Bounyavong
- Singphet Bounsavatthiphan
- Bounpone Sangsomsak
Party Central Committee Advisor: Khamtai Siphandon
Laos is divided into 17 provinces (khoueng, singular and plural), 1 municipality* ( nakhon luang vientiane, singular and plural):
Attapu, Bokeo, Borikhamxay, Champassack, Houaphan, Khammouane, Louang Namtha, Luangphabang, Oudomxay, Phongsaly, Saravane, Savannakhet, Sekong, Vientiane*, Vientiane, Sayaboury, Xaisomboun, and Xieng Khouang.
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