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Information on Political System of Laos
(kindly provided by the  Embassy of Peoples Democratic Republic of Laos to the United States of America)


LAOS AT A GLANCE

The general election held in October 1975 by the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party resulted in a number of people’s representatives. This led to the People’s Representatives Congress on 2 December of the same year. This congress adopted a resolution to change the name of the country to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

The Lao People’s Revolutionary Party has played a pivotal role in Laos since 1950, under the name the Lao People’s Party (LPP), subsequently changed to the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP).

The structure of the Party consists of the following functional units:


THE LAO PDR: AFTER THE PROMULGATION OF THE CONSTITUTION

On 15 August 1991, the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) promulgated a Constitution of the Lao PDR. This constitution consists of the 10 sections with 80 articles, which are summarized here for convenience.

SECTION 1 The Political System

SECTION 2 The Social and Economic System

SECTION 3 The Rights and Liberties of the People

SECTION 4 The National Assembly

SECTION 5 The President of the Country

SECTION 6 The Government

SECTION 7 The Local Administration

SECTION 8 The Judiciary

SECTION 9 Language, Alphabet, Symbol, National Anthem and the Capital City of the Nation

SECTION 10 The Final Provision

The Political System The Constitution states that sovereignty is the power that belongs to the people, is established by the people, and is authorized for the sake of the people. It defends political rights in elections, domestic policy regarding the creation of unity and equality among several ethnic groups of the country, policy and religions that legally allows the activities of all Buddhists as well as of other religions, a social protection policy, and policy concerning the defense of the nation.

Regarding Foreign Policy, the objectives focus on peace, independence, friendship and cooperation. It advocates the expansion of relations and cooperation with all countries under the principles of living together in peace, respecting their sovereign independence, non-interference in the internal affairs of others and the enjoyment of joint benefits.

The Social and Economic System

The section focuses on expansion into manufacturing and the transformation from an agronomy to an industrialized economy. More expansion of the basic economy is encouraged and the standard of life, both mentally and physically is to be enhanced.

The Rights and Liberties of the People

The section states the fundamental rights provided for all people. Each has an equal right in election, education, occupation, oration, writing, association and legal protest.

The National Assembly

The National Assembly as a legislative authority with the right to legislate on fundamental national problems as well as control the operation of the administration and the judiciary.

The President of the Country

This section specifies the President of the Country as Head of State elected by the National Assembly. The elected person is required to receive at least two-thirds of the votes of the members in a meeting of the National Assembly. The President possesses the right and duties as prescribed in the Constitution. The term of office of the President is 5 years.

The Government

This section states the rights and the duties of the Government. The Prime Minister is appointed by President and approved by the National Assembly with the absolute majority

together with his formed government.

The Local Administration

This section states the existence of the provinces, municipality, districts and villages.

The Judiciary

The Judiciary consists of the People’s Courts and the Public Prosecutor. Each step of the operation of the judicial division is overseen by the National Assembly through the Assembly’s Committee. This committee elects and discharges the President of the people’s Supreme Court, the judges to the People’s Court and the President of the Public Prosecutors Office.

Language, Alphabet, Symbol, National Anthem, and the Capital City of the Nation

This section states general matters regarding the usage of the Lao language as the official language of the nation, the alphabet, the national symbol, the national anthem and that Vientiane is the capital city of Laos.

Final Provision

This section states that only the National Assembly of the Lao PDR has the right to change the Constitution.

According to this Constitution, the President, who is the Head of States, shall exercise administrative power through three channels:

THE RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES OF THE PEOPLE

The constitution states in 18 articles the fundamental rights and duties of the people contingent upon their right to be citizens of the country and the equality of the sexes. In terms of society, it covers the right to education, religious beliefs, the entitlement to vote (from 18 years of age onwards), and to stand for election (from 21 years of age onwards). Both men and women are equal politically, economically, culturally and socially and they have equal opportunities for employment, in their way of life and in their right to employ the constitution as prescribed in the law.

In providing for the right to choose one’s own religion, the right and freedom to express one’s opinion, the right of association and to protest under the law, emphasis is obviously placed on the people’s liberty.


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For more information on doing business in Laos, the Embassy of Peoples Democratic Republic of Laos to the United States of America has kindly provided extensive information in the following Guide to Doing Business in Laos.  This can be viewed online or printed to assist you in your research and business efforts.


 

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