Party congress elects new Executive Committee to guide nation

By Somsack Pongkhao
March 20, 2011

Party Secretary General Choummaly Sayasone casts a ballot to elect the Executive Committee of the Party Central Committee yesterday in Vientiane, followed by other Party delegates.

Main delegates to the Ninth Party Congress yesterday elected 61 of the total 69 candidate members as the new Executive Committee of the Party Central Committee, which will continue to direct national development over the next five years.

The preliminary session of the new executive committee will open today to elect the new Politburo, Party Secretary General, an d Party Secretariat Committee.

Today’s meeting will also approve the Resolution of the Ninth Party Congress, before the new Party Secretary General delivers a keynote speech to officially close the congress.

The number of members of the executive committee has increased compared to the previous congress in response to the developing needs of the country in the era of international economic integration.

During the Eighth Party Congress in 2006, 55 members were elected to the executive committee, of whom 4 are women. The average age of committee members is 57.

Yesterday was the fourth day of the Ninth Party Congress, attended by 576 delegates representing more than 191,700 Party members nationwide.

Delegates showed their responsibility to exercise their democratic rights by casting ballots to elect the new executive committee.

The Party congress is held every five years, and the eighth congress was in March 2006, attended by 498 delegates representing 148,590 Party members.

The Ninth Congress officially opened last Thursday in Vientiane, during which political and economic reports were presented to highlight the key achievements in the past five years as well as targets to be achieved in the next five years.

The years from 2011 to 2015 are a very important period for Laos, as the Party works towards achieving the millennium development goals in 2015, and creating the foundation for Laos to graduate from least developed country status by 2020.

To achieve these goals, the Party has set a target for economic growth of at least 8 percent per year over the next five years and annual per capita income of US$1,700, dropping household poverty to less than 10 percent and eliminating illiteracy among 99 percent of the Lao multi-ethnic people aged 15-24 years.

The Party’s goals also include annual rice production of 4.2 million tonnes and increasing tourist arrivals to 2.8 million per year to increase tourism revenue.

The Party also gives priority to integrating Laos with the rest of the region and world as Asean will become a single market and production base in 2015, allowing member nations, both old and new, to integrate their economies and address development disparities.

Tomorrow, the people of Vientiane will gather in the capital to congratulate the achievements of the Ninth Party Congress as well as to mark the 56th anniversary of the founding of Lao People’s Revolutionary Party.

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