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Laos Government
Capital:
Vientiane
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
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, Louangphrabang, 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 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 in 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 in 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, 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 Patricia M. HASLACH
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
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