Laotian Legislators Elect President, Prime Minister

Posted June 15th, 2011 at 6:40 am (UTC-5)
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A five-yearly national congress in Laos has handed new terms to the president and prime minister in an anticipated continuation of power in the one-party state.

President Choummaly Sayasone was confirmed to his second five-year term by the 132-member legislature Wednesday, months after he was nominated by the politburo of the ruling Lao People's Revolutionary Party. The national assembly also approved a full five-year term for Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, who assumed the post last December after Bouasone Bouphavanh resigned.

Thongsing was president of the national assembly before becoming prime minister.

Laos is one of Asia's poorest countries, with China and Vietnam vying for influence in the impoverished land-locked nation. But Laos is pursuing reforms aimed at joining its neighbors as a rapidly emerging economy.