Lao People's Revolutionary Party

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Lao People's Revolutionary Party

ພັກປະຊາຊົນປະຕິວັດລາວ
Phak Pasason Pativat Lao
General Secretary Bounnhang Vorachith
Founded22 March 1955
Headquarters Vientiane
Newspaper Passasson
Youth wing Lao People's Revolutionary Youth Union
Armed wing Lao People's Armed Forces
Membership (2011)191,700
Ideology Communism
Marxism–Leninism
Political position Far-left
National affiliation Lao Front for National Construction
International affiliation IMCWP
National Assembly
144 / 149
Party flag
Flag of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party.svg

The Lao People's Revolutionary Party (Lao : ພັກປະຊາຊົນປະຕິວັດລາວ, French : Parti révolutionnaire populaire lao), formerly the Lao People's Party, is a Marxist–Leninist political party in Laos and has emerged from the Communist Party of Vietnam founded by Hồ Chí Minh in 1930. It has governed in Laos since 1975. The policy-making organs are the Politburo, Secretariat and the Central Committee. A party congress, which elects members to the politburo and central committee, is held every five years. The congress used to also elect a secretariat, but this body was abolished in 1991. As of 2016, 128 of the 132 members of the National Assembly of Laos were from the Lao People's Revolutionary Party.

Contents

History

The party has its origins in the Communist Party of Indochina founded by Ho Chi Minh in 1930 (see Communist Party of Vietnam). The ICP was entirely Vietnamese at its inception but grew throughout French Indochina and was able to found a small "Lao section" in 1936. In the mid-1940s, a campaign to recruit Laotian members was instigated and in 1946 or 1947, Kaysone Phomvihan, a law student at the University of Hanoi, was recruited, along with Nouhak Phoumsavan.[ citation needed ]

In February 1951, the Second Congress of the ICP resolved to disband the party and to form three separate parties representing the three states of Indochina. In reality, the ICP was a Vietnamese organization and the separate parties created were dominated by the Vietnamese parties regardless of their national affiliations.[ citation needed ] For instance, in February 1951, only 81 of the 2,091 ICP members were Lao. [1] A movement known as the Pathet Lao (Land of Laos) was founded and Prince Souphanouvong became its figurehead leader. It was in theory a communist resistance movement meant to fight alongside the Viet Minh against French colonialism during the first Indochina War, but it never really fought much of anyone and was organized as a reserve organization of the Viet Minh. On March 22, 1955, at its First Party Congress, the clandestine Lao's People's Party or Phak Pasason Lao was officially proclaimed. The First Party Congress was attended by 25 delegates representing a party membership of 300 to 400. The Party Congress was supervised and organized by the Vietnamese. The Central Committee of the Party included Kaysone Phomvihane, Nouhak Phoumsavan, Bun Phommahaxay, Sisavath Keobounphanh, Khamseng (May 1955, supplemented Souphanouvong, Phoumi Vongvichit, Phoun Sipaseut and 1956 supplemented Sisomphon Lovansay, Khamtay Siphandone).[ citation needed ]

The LPP and its successor, the LPRP, kept their existence secret until 1975, preferring to direct their activities through fronts such as the Pathet Lao.[ citation needed ]

In 1956, a legal political wing of the Pathet Lao, the Lao Patriotic Front (Neo Lao Hak Xat), was founded and participated in several coalition governments. In the 1960s the North Vietnam-controlled Pathet Lao were given tasks in Vietnamese-occupied areas of Laos. The Pathet Lao participated in a war between their North Vietnamese backers and the U.S.-backed Laotian government. Never very successful on their own, the party still gained power indirectly by North Vietnamese control in the northern and eastern sectors of the country. The Pathet Lao were never a particularly strong military force unless supported directly by the North Vietnamese army.[ citation needed ]

In February 1972, at the Second Party Congress, the name of the Lao People's Party was changed to the Lao People's Revolutionary Party. [2]

In 1973, a peace agreement was signed that brought the Pathet Lao into the government and was supposed to result in the Vietnamese leaving the country. The Vietnamese army did not leave. In early 1975, the Pathet Lao and North Vietnamese began attacking government outposts again. Without the support of the US, the anticommunist elements in the government had little choice other than to gradually allow the Pathet Lao to take power. In the spring of 1975 Pathet Lao forces consolidated their power throughout the country. The royal government fell in May 1975 and the LPRP took power. The LPRP on taking power showed itself to be closely connected to Vietnam. The LPRP signed a treaty of friendship which allowed People's Army of Vietnam units to base themselves in Laos and also brought political advisors from Vietnam into the country. The LPRP economically isolated Laos by cutting off trade with all neighboring countries except for Vietnam.[ citation needed ]

When the LPRP first revealed itself to the public in 1975, the Central Committee comprised twenty-one members and six alternates. By the Fourth Party Congress, its size had expanded to fifty-one members and nine alternates. The average age of a Central Committee member in 1986 was fifty-two, with the oldest seventy-seven and the youngest thirty-three. The number of women on the Central Committee rose from three to five, including Thongvin Phomvihan, then General Secretary Kaysone's wife, who was chair of the LPRP's People's Revolutionary Youth Union and, in 1982, the first woman appointed to the Central Committee.[ citation needed ]

In 1979, the Lao Front for National Construction was founded to extend the reach of the LPRP in society, with a particular emphasis on governmental and cultural participation.[ citation needed ]

The Third Party Congress did not meet until April 1982. Since then Party Congresses have been more regular with the Fourth Party Congress being held in November 1986, and the Fifth Party Congress in March 1991 with further congresses every four or five years since then.[ citation needed ]

In 1986, during the period in which many socialist states were beginning to change their domestic market policies, Kaysone propounded the New Economic Mechanism, invoking Lenin, but soon moved control of state enterprises to autonomous firms, and by 1989, edged more deliberately toward a market economy.[ citation needed ]

The LPRP has shown itself to be remarkably resilient. Transitions of power have tended to be smooth, the new generation of leaders has proven more open to reform, and the Politburo now has some ethnic diversity. Organised opposition to the LPRP is weak. [3]

The 10th Party Congress was held in Vientiane from 18 to 22 January 2016. At that Congress, Boungnang Vorachit was elected as the new Secretary General on 22 January 2016 - ending a 25-year long vacancy since the office was retitled from the former office of the Party Chairman. [4]

Party structure

From a membership of a few hundred at its founding the party grew to 11,000 members by 1965 and 21,000 members by 1972. When the party seized power in 1975 it claimed a membership of 25,000; and by 1991, at the convening of the Fifth Party Congress, the LPRP claimed its membership had increased to 60,000 or just over 1% of the population.

The Central Committee of the party was composed of 21 members and 6 alternates in 1975. This expanded to 51 members and 9 alternates by 1986 and 59 members in 1991.

The Politburo is the centre of political power in the party with its membership drawn from and chosen by the Central Committee. The Politburo consisted of seven members in 1972 growing to eleven members by 1993.

At the Fifth Party Congress, the party abolished the nineperson Secretariat of the Central Committee and changed the designation of the head of the party (Kaysone) from general secretaryl to chairman. Until it was abolished, the Secretariat wielded influence second only to that of the Politburo.

Kaysone Phomvihan was the party's general secretary from its founding in 1955 and remained the party's key figure until his death in 1992. His title changed to Party Chairman in 1991. Nouhak Phoumsavan was the second most powerful figure in the party from the party's founding until Kaysone's death, when he became the party's titular leader.

Khamtai Siphandon succeeded Nouhak Phoumsavan in 1998 (although some accounts have him succeeding Kaysone in 1992). Other recent leading figures have included Sisavath Keobounphanh and Samane Vignaket. Choummaly Sayasone led the party from 2006 to 2016, and Bounnhang Vorachit has been party leader since 2016.

Members of the LPRP Politburo have taken the offices of Party's Secretary-General and State President, Vice President, Chairman of the National Assembly and Prime Minister.

Politburo of the Central Committee (elected at the 10th Party Congress)
  1. Boungnang Vorachit (Secretary-General of the Party, President of Laos)
  2. Thongloun Sisoulith (Prime Minister)
  3. Pany Yathotou (Chairwoman of the National Assembly)
  4. Bounthong Chitmany (President of the Party Central Inspection Committee, Deputy Prime Minister, President of the Government Inspection Authority and Head of the Anti-Corruption Organisation)
  5. Phankham Viphavan (Standing Member of the Party CC Secretariat, Vice President of Laos)
  6. Chansy Phosikham (Head of the Party's Central Organisation Commission)
  7. Xaysomphone Phomvihane (President of Lao Front for National Construction)
  8. Lt. Gen Chansamone Chanyalath (Minister of National Defence)
  9. Khamphanh Phommathat (Head of Office of the Party Central Committee)
  10. Sinlavong Khoutphaythoune (Secretary of the Party Committee, Mayor of Vientiane)
  11. Sonesay Siphandone (Deputy Prime Minister)
Secretariat of the Central Committee (elected at the 10th Party Congress)
  1. Bounnhang Vorachith (Secretary General)
  2. Bounthong Chitmany (President of the Party Central Inspection Committee, Deputy Prime Minister)
  3. Phankham Viphavan (Standing Member of the Party CC Secretariat, Vice President of Laos)
  4. Chansy Phosikham (Head of the Party's Central Organisation Commission)
  5. Khamphanh Phommathat (Head of Office of the Party Central Committee)
  6. Lt Gen Sengnouane Xayalath (Vice President of the National Assembly)
  7. Kikeo Khaykhamphithoune (Head of the Party’s Commission for Propaganda and Training)
  8. Maj Gen Somkeo Silavong (Minister of Public Security)
  9. Maj Gen Vilay Lakhamfong (Deputy Minister of National Defence)

The party operates according to the principles of democratic centralism. Due to the covert nature of the party in its first two decades it remains semi-secret in its operations though it is becoming more open as a new generation takes control.

Ideology

The LPRP is a Marxist–Leninist party patterned after the Vietnamese Communist Party and strongly influenced by the Soviet Union and the Soviet Communist Party. In the late 1980s, the party attempted to follow the example of Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika reforms by introducing market measures and reducing controls over state run enterprises as well as abandoning attempts at agricultural collectivisation. These reforms were expanded in the 1990s, but the Laotian party was reluctant to follow the Soviet example of glasnost and has avoided loosening the party's political monopoly in the country or allowing for a free press.

During Choummaly Sayasone's visit to China in 2011, he stated that Laos would increase the scale of its cooperation with China and increase the number of exchange students between two parties' party schools to learn more from China. [5]

Leaders

Party Congresses

Electoral history

National Assembly elections

ElectionVotes%Seats+/–Position
1989 as part of LFNC
65 / 79
Increase2.svg 65Increase2.svg 1st
1992
85 / 85
Increase2.svg 20Steady2.svg 1st
1997
98 / 99
Increase2.svg 13Steady2.svg 1st
2002
109 / 109
Increase2.svg 11Steady2.svg 1st
2006
113 / 115
Increase2.svg 4Steady2.svg 1st
2011
128 / 132
Increase2.svg 15Steady2.svg 1st
2016
144 / 149
Increase2.svg 16Steady2.svg 1st

See also

Related Research Articles

Politics of Laos

The politics of the Lao People's Democratic Republic takes place in the framework of a one-party socialist republic. The only legal political party is the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP). The de jure head of state is President Bounnhang Vorachith, who also is LPRP general secretary making him the de facto leader of Laos.

Kaysone Phomvihane Lao politician

Kaysone Phomvihane was the leader of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party from 1955 until his death in 1992. He also served as the first Prime Minister of the Lao People's Democratic Republic from 1975 to 1991 and then as President from 1991 to 1992.

Kingdom of Laos former country

The Kingdom of Laos was a constitutional monarchy that served Laos beginning with its independence on 9 November 1953. The monarchy survived until December 1975, when its last king, Savang Vatthana, surrendered the throne to the Pathet Lao, who abolished the monarchy in favor of a Marxist state called the Lao People's Democratic Republic, which has controlled Laos since.

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Khamtai Siphandon former General Secretary of the Lao Peoples Revolutionary Party

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Nouhak Phoumsavanh Lao politician

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Choummaly Sayasone Laotian politician

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China–Laos relations Diplomatic relations between the Peoples Republic of China and the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic

Laotian–Chinese relations refers to the current and historical relationship between Lao People's Democratic Republic and the People's Republic of China. Relations have consisted of trade and aid, largely in road construction in the northern provinces of Laos, without directly challenging the interests of Thailand or Vietnam in the central and southern regions. However, Vietnam's invasion of Cambodia in December 1978 to unseat the Khmer Rouge regime provoked China into a limited invasion of Vietnam—approximately nineteen kilometers deep—to "teach Vietnam a lesson." Laos was caught in a dangerous bind, not wanting to further provoke China, but not able to oppose its special partner, Vietnam. The Laotian leadership survived the dilemma by making slightly delayed pronouncements in support of Vietnam after some intraparty debate and by sharply reducing diplomatic relations with China to the chargé d'affaires level—without a full break. The low point in Sino-Laotian relations came in 1979, with reports of Chinese assistance and training of Hmong resistance forces under General Vang Pao in China's Yunnan Province.

Constitution of Laos

The Constitution of Laos specifies the functions and powers of the government of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, and defines the rights and duties of Laotian citizens. The constitution was adopted on August 14, 1991, sixteen years after the 1975 establishment of the Republic, a period during which the country functioned without a written constitution or published penal and criminal codes. It consists of a Preamble and Articles, and legally establishes a set of authorities that resemble the traditional differentiation among executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.

Lieutenant General Samane Viyaket was a Vietnamese descent-Laotian national politician, Minister of Education, Head of Party Central Committee Organization Board, Vice Minister of Defense, Director of the General Political Bureau, President of the National Election Committee for the National Assembly Fourth Legislature, and President of the National Assembly of Laos from 1993 to 2006. He was born in Phichit Province, Siam to Vietnamese immigrant family. He was in charge of ideological and cultural works of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP), and he was a member of the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Politburo, a member of the 3rd Secretariat of the LPRP. He died at 00.24 am on July 22, 2016 at the age of 89.

Politburo of the Lao Peoples Revolutionary Party

The Politburo of the Central Committee Lao People's Revolutionary Party, formerly the Standing Committee of the Central Committee, is the highest body of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) between Central Committee meetings, which are held at least twice a year. According to Party rules, the Politburo directs the general orientation of the government and enacts policies which have been approved by either the Party Congress or the Central Committee.

The 6th Congress of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party was held in Vientiane from 18–20 March 1996. The congress occurs once every five years. A total of 381 delegates represented the party's 78,000 card-carrying members.

Houaphanh Province Province of Laos

Houaphanh province is a province of eastern Laos. As of 2015 it had a population of 289,393 people. Its capital lies at Sam Neua.

Executive Committee of the Lao Peoples Revolutionary Party

The Executive Committee of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, formerly the Secretariat, is an organ of the Central Committee of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party.

Central Committee of the Lao Peoples Revolutionary Party

The Central Committee of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party was established in 1955, and is the highest authority within the Lao People's Revolutionary Party. It is periodically elected by the party's Congress.

The 9th Congress of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) was held in Vientiane from 17–21 March 2011. The congress occurs once every five years. A total of 576 delegates represented the party's 191,700 card-carrying members.

The 10th Congress of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) was held in Vientiane from 18–22 January 2016. The congress occurs once every five years. A total of 685 delegates represented the party's 252,879 card-carrying members.

Congress of the Lao Peoples Revolutionary Party

The Congress of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) is the party's highest decision-making body. The LPRP has convened 10 congresses since its foundation in 1955, and eight since taking power in 1975. According to the party rules, the party congress is to be convened by the LPRP Central Committee (CC) every fifth year. It functions as a forum that approves party policy, is empowered to amend the party's charter and program, and elects the Central Committee. The party leadership, through the Political Report of the Central Committee, briefs the party on its work in the period since its last congress, and sets out future goals for the period in between the next congress.

References

  1. Stuart-Fox, p. 136.
  2. http://ptc.gov.la/index.php/lo/2015-06-10-07-20-17/2015-06-10-07-20-22/992-%E0%BA%81%E0%BA%AD%E0%BA%87%E0%BA%9B%E0%BA%B0%E0%BA%8A%E0%BA%B8%E0%BA%A1%E0%BB%83%E0%BA%AB%E0%BA%8D%E0%BB%88%E0%BA%9C%E0%BA%B9%E0%BB%89%E0%BB%81%E0%BA%97%E0%BA%99%E0%BA%97%E0%BA%BB%E0%BB%88%E0%BA%A7%E0%BA%9B%E0%BA%B0%E0%BB%80%E0%BA%97%E0%BA%94-%E0%BA%84%E0%BA%B1%E0%BB%89%E0%BA%87%E0%BA%97%E0%BA%B5-ii.html
  3. Frank-jurgen, Richter; John, Kidd (2003-04-03). Fighting Corruption In Asia: Causes, Effects And Remedies. World Scientific. ISBN   9789814486934.
  4. Bounnhang Vorachit voted as new LPRP Secretary General
  5. "中华人民共和国和老挝人民民主共和国联合新闻公报(全文)" . Retrieved 25 February 2015.

Sources