The Lao People’s Revolutionary Party on Thursday announced a new leadership that sees Vice President Bounnhang Vorachith taking the top job in the ruling party.
The party's new central committee, which comprises 77 members, will run the party and the country for the next five years. The new leadership includes young generation members, many of them the children of old leaders.
President Choummaly Sayasone, Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong and his two deputies Asang Laoly and Somsavat Lengsavad stepped down from key positions in the party.
Top on the central committee list and in the inner circle of Politburo are the President of the National Assembly Pany Yathortou, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Thongloun Sisoulith, President of Party Central Inspection Committee Bounthong Chitmany, and Deputy Prime Minister Bounpone Bouttanavong.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Sports Phankham Viphavanh, Secretariat of Party Central Committee Chansy Phosikham, Minister of National Defence Lt. Gen. Sengnouan Xayalath, Deputy Presidents of the National Assembly Xaysomphone Phomvihane and Somphanh Phengkhammy are also among the top ten.
The party congress, which is held every five years, officially convened on Monday and was attended by 685 representatives of 268,000 party's members nation-wide.
Bounnhang, 79, has been sitting in the Politburo for long time and has served in many executive positions including as Prime Minister during 2001-2006.
The congress selected several younger party members to the central committee, among them Xaysomphone, son of the late President Kaysone Phomvihane, Sonexay Siphandone, son of former President Khamtay Siphandone, Viengthong Siphandone, daughter of Khamtay and Sonethanu Thammavong, son of Prime Minister Thongsin.
The communist party has ruled the landlocked country in Marxim-Leninism communist style since 1975. It has achieved many objectives over the past five years including high economic growth and increasing per capita income, which has gone from US$319 in 2011 to US$1,970 last year.
With the new leadership, the party is set to enjoy economic growth average of no less than 7.5 per cent per annum. The visions and plans adopted during the congress aim to release Laos from the status of least developed and be recognised as a developing country by 2020.