Roundup: Bounnhang Vorachit attains Lao People's Revolutionary Party leadership on final day of National Congress

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Bounnhang Vorachit was elected as Secretary General of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) at the close of the 10th National Party Congress here on Friday.

It was announced that Bounnhang, currently serving as Vice-President of Laos, would assume the post of Secretary-General of the LPRP in a ceremony at the National Convention Centre in the Lao capital.

Bounnhang, 78, replaces retiring Secretary-General and President of Laos Choummaly Sayasone who was first elected to the top post of the LPRP at the 8th Congress in 2006 and reelected in 2011.

Choummaly succeeded Khamtay Siphandone as President of Laos in June of the same year.

Addressing delegates, Bounnhang stressed policy continuity.

"The Lao People's Revolutionary Party will continue its comprehensive process of self-renewal, seriously implement 10 resolutions in order to seek Laos' graduation from the list of least developed countries by 2020 and achieve the status of upper-middle income country by 2030 while progressing along the socialist path," Secretary-General Bounnhang said.

Born in the Lao province of Savannakhet in 1937, Bounnhang served as an LPRP secretary in the revolutionary Lao People's Armed Forces that successfully gained victory in Laos' northern Luang Prabang province in the closing stages of the Indochina conflict (Vietnam War), helping to usher in the establishment of the Lao People's Democratic Republic in December 1975.

He has served in several senior party and state and military roles in the period since, including one 5-year term as the country's Prime Minister from 2001-2006.

The result is set to see Bounnhang heading up the newly elected 69-member Party Central Committee and 11-member Politburo, Laos' key party political bodies, until the next Congress expected in 2021.

Among the tasks of the newly elected Secretary-General will be to oversee selection of new heads of state and government which will then be voted on by the National Assembly, Laos' legislative body.

Before the vote can be held, a new National Assembly will be chosen in a general election set for March where voters throughout Laos aged 18 and over will elect legislators from a list of pre-selected candidates.

During the 10th Party Congress from Jan. 18 to 22, delegates heard a political report from the outgoing 9th Party Central Committee Secretary-General and President of Laos Choummaly Sayasone on achievements and challenges over the last five years, as well as authorising the National Socio-Economic Development Plan for 2016-2020 and proposed amendments to the Party Statute.

Provincial governors also gave localized reports on development efforts across the country.

Laos' first national Party Congress was held in 1955, the founding year of the LPRP. Enditem

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