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    Laos Government - 2003

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

      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: Republic Day, 2 December (1975)

      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 Gen. KHAMTAI Siphandon (since 26 February 1998) and Vice President Lt. Gen. CHOUMMALI Saignason (since 27 March 2001)
      head of government: Prime Minister BOUNGNANG Volachit (since 27 March 2001); First Deputy Prime Minister Maj. Gen. ASANG Laoli (since NA May 2002), Deputy Prime Minister THONGLOUN Sisolit (since 27 March 2001), and Deputy Prime Minister SOMSAVAT Lengsavat (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 24 February 2002 (next to be held NA 2007); 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 (109 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms; note - total number of seats increased from 99 to 109 for the 2002 election)
      elections: last held 24 February 2002 (next to be held NA 2007)
      election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - LPRP or LPRP-approved (independent, non-party members) 109

      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, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, 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 PHANTHONG Phommahaxay
      FAX: [1] (202) 332-4923
      telephone: [1] (202) 332-6416
      chancery: 2222 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

      Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Douglas A. HARTWICK
      embassy: 19 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

      NOTE: The information regarding Laos on this page is re-published from the 2003 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Guinea Geography 2003 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Laos Government 2003 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 20-Sep-03
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