Laos: Communist party elects Thongloun as new gen-sec; all Covid-19 patients recovered


Prime Minister of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith was elected as the new General Secretary of the country's ruling Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Central Committee at the communist party's 11th congress held in the capital Vientiane on Friday (Jan 15). - Reuters

VIENTIANE, Jan. 15 (Xinhua): Prime Minister of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith was elected as the new General Secretary of the country's ruling Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Central Committee at the communist party's 11th congress held in the capital Vientiane on Friday.

The three-day congress beginning Wednesday has elected the new members of the LPRP Central Committee for the 2021-25 term. Participating in the vote were 768 delegates at the congress, who represented a total of about 348,680 party members nationwide.

On Friday, the new central committee held its inaugural meeting to elect members of its politburo as well as general secretary.

"An election was also held to choose the new General Secretary of the central committee, the top post in the party, who will commonly also holds the post of state president," the local daily Vientiane Times reported on Friday.

The closing session of the 11th LPRP Congress on Friday afternoon announced a 13-member central committee politburo, with two members more than in the 10th 11-member politburo. The new politburo does not include the 10th Central Committee General Secretary and incumbent Lao President Bounnhang Vorachit.

The central committee inaugural meeting on Friday also elected a 9-member secretariat headed by Thongloun, and a 7-member party inspection committee headed by Khamphanh Phommathath.

"The new Party leadership is facing great challenges to lead Laos as it strives to overcome the least developed country status amid difficulties, mostly triggered by internal financial difficulties and the COVID-19 crisis," said the Vientiane Times report.

The election of the new LPRP leadership came ahead of elections for the top legislature and administrative bodies in Laos, which are expected to take place in the coming months.

"Next month, a national election will take place to elect members of the National Assembly. Shortly after they have been elected, members of the parliament's Ninth legislature will hold an inaugural session to elect a new state president and prime minister, and approve new cabinet members," said the local daily report.

The LPRP, which was founded on March 22, 1955 and formerly called the Lao People's Party, convenes its national congress every five years.

Meanwhile, the last Covid-19 patient in Laos has recovered and been discharged from hospital, according to a report by the Lao Ministry of Health.

The patient was permitted to return home on Thursday after being tested negative for the virus in the second round of testing, the Center of Information and Education for Health under the Lao Ministry of Health said in a press release on Thursday.

The patient was admitted to a designated hospital, Mittaphab Hospital (Hospital 150) on Dec. 6 last year, according to the report.

Laos has reported no new case of Covid-19 since Dec. 7 last year, with the total cases in the country unchanged at 41.

Laos reported its first two confirmed Covid-19 cases on March 24. - Xinhua
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