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Laos: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: Lao People's Democratic Republic
conventional short form: Laos
local long form: Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao
local short form: Pathet Lao (unofficial)
CapitalVientiane (Viangchan) Vientiane (Viangchan)
geographic coordinates: 17 58 N, 102 36 E
time difference: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions16 provinces (khoueng, singular and plural) and 1 capital city* (nakhon luang, singular and plural); Attapu, Bokeo, Bolikhamxai, Champasak, Houaphan, Khammouan, Louangnamtha, Louangphabang, Oudomxai, Phongsali, Salavan, Savannakhet, Viangchan (Vientiane)*, Viangchan, Xaignabouli, Xekong, Xiangkhouang
Constitutionprevious 1947 (preindependence); latest promulgated 13-15 August 1991; amended 2003 (2003)
Executive branchchief of state: President Lt. Gen. CHOUMMALI Saignason (since 8 June 2006); Vice President BOUN-GNANG Volachit (since 8 June 2006)
head of government: Prime Minister THONGSING Thammavong (since 24 December 2010); First Deputy Prime Minister Maj. Gen. ASANG Laoli (since May 2002), Deputy Prime Ministers SOMSAVAT Lengsavat (since 26 February 1998), THONGLOUN Sisoulit (since 27 March 2001), and (vacant); note - Deputy Prime Minister Maj. Gen. DOUANGCHAI Phichit was killed in a 17 May 2014 plane crash and no replacement has yet been named
cabinet: ministers appointed by president, approved by National Assembly
elections: president and vice president elected by National Assembly for five-year terms; election last held on 30 April 2011 (next to be held in 2016); prime minister nominated by the president and elected by the National Assembly for five-year term
election results: CHOUMMALI Saignason elected president; BOUN-GNANG Volachit elected vice president; percent of National Assembly vote - NA; THONGSING Thammavong elected prime minister; percent of National Assembly vote - NA
Flag descriptionthree horizontal bands of red (top), blue (double width), and red with a large white disk centered in the blue band; the red bands recall the blood shed for liberation; the blue band represents the Mekong River and prosperity; the white disk symbolizes the full moon against the Mekong River, but also signifies the unity of the people under the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, as well as the country's bright future
Independence19 July 1949 (from France)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): People's Supreme Court (consists of NA judges)
judge selection and term of office: president of People's Supreme Court elected by National Assembly on recommendation of National Assembly Standing Committee; vice president of People's Supreme Court and judges appointed by National Assembly Standing Committee; term of office NA
subordinate courts: provincial, municipal, district, and military courts
Legal systemcivil law system similar in form to the French system
Legislative branchunicameral National Assembly (132 seats; members elected by popular vote from a list of candidates selected by the Lao People's Revolutionary Party to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held on 30 April 2011 (next to be held in 2016)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - LPRP 128, independents 4
International organization participationADB, ARF, ASEAN, CP, EAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO (subscriber), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National holidayRepublic Day, 2 December (1975)
Political pressure groups and leadersNA
Political parties and leadersLao People's Revolutionary Party or LPRP (CHOUMMALI Saignason); other parties proscribed
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Government typeCommunist state
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador SENG Soukhathivong (since 4 June 2010)
chancery: 2222 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: (1) (202) 332-6416
FAX: (1) (202) 332-4923
National anthemname: "Pheng Xat Lao" (Hymn of the Lao People)
lyrics/music: SISANA Sisane/THONGDY Sounthonevichit
note: music adopted 1945, lyrics adopted 1975; the anthem's lyrics were changed following the 1975 Communist revolution that overthrew the monarchy
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)elephant
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador David A. CLUNE (since 16 September 2013)
embassy: 19 Rue Bartholonie, That Dam, Vientiane
mailing address: American Embassy Vientiane, APO AP 96546
telephone: (856) 21-26-7000
FAX: (856) 21-26-7190