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Laos Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Lao People's Democratic Republic
    conventional short form: Laos
    local long form: Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao
    local short form: none

    Data code: LA

    Government type: Communist state

    Capital: Vientiane

    Administrative divisions: 16 provinces (khoueng, singular and plural), 1 municipality* (kampheng nakhon, singular and plural), and 1 special zone** (khetphiset, singular and plural); Attapu, Bokeo, Bolikhamxai, Champasak, Houaphan, Khammouan, Louangnamtha, Louangphabang, Oudomxai, Phongsali, Salavan, Savannakhet, Viangchan*, Viangchan, Xaignabouli, Xaisomboun**, Xekong, Xiangkhoang

    Independence: 19 July 1949 (from France)

    National holiday: National Day, 2 December (1975) (proclamation of the Lao People's Democratic Republic)

    Constitution: promulgated 14 August 1991

    Legal system: based on traditional customs, French legal norms and procedures, and Socialist practice

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President KHAMTAI Siphandon (since 26 February 1998); Vice President OUDOM Khattiya (since 26 February 1998)
    head of government: Prime Minister SISAVAT Keobounphan (since 26 February 1998); Senior Deputy Prime Minister BOUNGNANG Volachit (since 20 April 1996); Deputy Prime Ministers KHAMPHOUI Keoboualapha (since 15 August 1991), CHOUMMALI Saignason (since 26 February 1998), SOMSAVAT Lengsavad (since 26 February 1998)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president, approved by the National Assembly
    elections: president elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term; election last held 21 December 1997 (next to be held NA 2002); prime minister appointed by the president with the approval of the National Assembly for a five-year term
    election results: KHAMTAI Siphandon elected president; percent of National Assembly vote—NA

    Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly (99 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms; note—by presidential decree, on 27 October 1997, the number of seats increased from 85 to 99)
    elections: last held 21 December 1997 (next to be held NA 2002)
    election results: percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—LPRP or LPRP-approved (independent, non-party members) 99

    Judicial branch: People's Supreme Court, the president of the People's Supreme Court is elected by the National Assembly on the recommendation of the National Assembly Standing Committee, the vice president of the People's Supreme Court and the judges are appointed by the National Assembly Standing Committee

    Political parties and leaders: Lao People's Revolutionary Party or LPRP [KHAMTAI Siphandon, party president]; other parties proscribed

    Political pressure groups and leaders: noncommunist political groups proscribed; most opposition leaders fled the country in 1975

    International organization participation: ACCT, AsDB, ASEAN, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer)

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador VANG Rattanavong
    chancery: 2222 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 332-6416
    FAX: [1] (202) 332-4923

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Wendy Jean CHAMBERLIN
    embassy: Rue Bartholonie, B.P. 114, Vientiane
    mailing address: American Embassy, Box V, APO AP 96546
    telephone: [856] (21) 212581, 212582, 212585
    FAX: [856] (21) 212584

    Flag description: three horizontal bands of red (top), blue (double width), and red with a large white disk centered in the blue band

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)