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    Laos Government 2000

      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); note - currently the position of vice president is vacant; Vice President OUDOM Khattiya died on 9 December 1999 and a replacement has not yet been named
      head of government: Prime Minister SISAVAT Keobounphan (since 26 February 1998); Senior Deputy Prime Minister BOUN-NHANG Vorachith (since 20 April 1996); Deputy Prime Ministers CHOUMMALI Saygnasone (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 01-Nov-00
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