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Former PM elected as state president, former vice president elected as PM

The inaugural session of the National Assembly (NA)’s 9th legislature kicked off on Monday, with members electing former Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith as the President of Laos to replace retiring President Bounnhang Vorachit.
 He was elected by a majority vote of 161-1-1 (approve, not approve, and abstain respectively).
Addressing the session shortly after his election, the new president, who is also Secretary General of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party Central Committee, said

“May I give my commitment to this honourable National Assembly that I will always respect and strictly observe the constitution and laws. I will be loyal and honest to the nation and the multiethnic people.”
“I will work alongside other Party and state leaders to do whatever we can to build conditions that secure national stability, security and sustained socio economic development to further improve people’s livelihoods.”
Monday’s session was attended by Party and state leaders, retired Party cadres, NA members, and members of the diplomatic corps and international organisations in Laos.
The session also elected the former NA President, Mrs Pany Yathotou, and former Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Bounthong Chitmany, as vice presidents.
Former Vice President Phankham Viphavanh was elected as prime minister by a majority vote of 158-3-1 (approve, not approve and abstain respectively).
Addressing the session, the new premier pledged to dedicate all his efforts and wisdom, along with other members of his 9th cabinet, to performing their role in an honest manner in order to realise the resolution adopted by the 11th Party Congress, the goals of the 9th five-year national socio-economic development plan, and the resolution adopted by the NA’s 9th legislature. Prior to the election of the president and prime minister, the session also elected former President of the Lao Front for National Development, Dr Xaysomphone Phomvihane, as President of the NA’s 9th legislature.
Former Head of the Party Central Committee’s External Relations Committee, Ms Sounthone Sayachack, former Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office Prof. Dr Chaleun Yiapaoher, former Vice President of the Lao Front for National Development Khambay Damlath, former Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sommad Pholsena, and former Deputy Minister of National Defence Lieutenant General Souvone Leuangbounmy were elected Vice Presidents of the National Assembly.
The session also approved the organisational structure of the NA and organisational structure of the government and cabinet members.  Seventeen ministries, two ministry-equivalent organisations (the Prime Minister’s Office and the Bank of the Lao PDR) and cabinet members to head these organisations were approved.
Under the new administration there is now one ministry less after the Party’s Politburo recently dissolved the Ministry of Science and Technology.  Minister of National Defence General Chansamone Chanyalath, Minister of Planning and Investment Dr Sonexay Siphandone, and former Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Prof. Dr Kikeo Khaykhamphithoune were elected as deputy prime ministers.
The session elected the former Head of the Party Central Committee’s Propaganda and Training Board, Mr Khamphan Phommathat, as President of the State Inspection Authority.
Former President of the State Audit Organisation (SAO), Ms Viengthong Siphandone, was elected as President of the People’s Supreme Court, Mr Xaysana Khotphouthone was elected as Supreme Prosecutor, and Mr Malaythong Kommasith was elected as President of the SAO.
 The five-day session will debate and approve a number of documents including the five-year socio-economic development and state budget plans for 2021-25.
The session will also hear a report on the implementation of the 8th five-year socio-economic development and budget plans for 2016-2020.
Two reports to be presented by the Supreme Prosecutor and the People’s Supreme Court were also on the agenda. The State Audit Organisation and the State Inspection Authority will also deliver reports before the NA presents its report on plans to enact and amend laws over the next five years.


 

 

By Souksakhone Vaenkeo
(Latest Update
March 23,
2021)


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