Laos Public Policy


Current policy

Laos is a country located in the region of Southeastern Asia. See abbreviation for Laos. In Laos, virtually all power is gathered by the revolutionary party of the Lao People, or the Communist Party. While the regime of the mid-1980s has released some of the control over the economy, not much has happened on the political level. During the 2010 century, the political climate has quickly hardened, and important decisions are still made within the party’s inner circle.

The party congress in January 2016 laid the foundation for a shift in state leadership. Neither the president, the prime minister nor the party’s secretary general (the three most important positions of power in Laos) voted for re-election. As new Secretary General, the Congress elected Vice President Bounnhang Vorachith. After elections to the National Assembly in April, Bounnhang Vorachith was formally elected president, while Soviet-trained Politburo member Thongloun Sisoulith became new Prime Minister.

  • Countryaah: Country facts and history of Laos, including state flag, location map, demographics, GDP data, currency code, and business statistics.

Political resistance in Laos is weak. Most opposites are in exile and regime criticism has usually come from them. In June 2007, for example, the American police revealed that a group of Laotians in California, most of them belonging to the Hmong people, had prepared a coup against the regime in Laos (see Modern History).

Within Laos for the hmong guerrilla (see Population and Languages) a thinning existence. In the first decade of the 2000s, thousands of hmong jungles left and reported to the authorities, or fled to Thailand. How many of the refugees were guerrilla members is unclear. Laotian police and military have been accused of persecuting and harassing the Hmong people in their hunt for opponents within the group.

During the 2010 century, popular dissatisfaction increased in Laos, not least because of the widespread corruption within the ruling elite (see Democracy and Rights). However, the regime has so far managed to curb all major dissatisfaction among the population.

In order for some more substantial political changes to come about, most judges believe that these must come from within the regime, but some such signs are not visible. However, there seems to be some disagreement within the governing layer, including between the elderly and the younger, and between the many who have close contacts with the communist regime in neighboring Vietnam and those who received their education in the west, as well as between those from the north and those who come from the south.


According to Laotian authorities and media, Laos was mildly affected by the corona pandemic in the first half of 2020. Despite this, on March 30, the government chose to shut down almost the entire country to protect the population from the infection. Then the country had eight confirmed cases of the corona virus. The closure would be until May 3.

After eleven days without any confirmed new case of infection, the authorities began to ease the restrictions on April 23. By then, Laos had had 19 confirmed cases of coronary disease and no deaths in covid-19, according to authorities. Above all, it was remote projects in the mining industry that were promised to start producing again.

The rules on social distance were released quickly in different parts of the country, depending on how affected the area was. The most infectious was in the capital Vientiane.

Read more about the events in the Calendar.


Official name

Sathalanalath Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao / Democratic People’s Republic of Laos


republic, unitary state

Head of State

President Bounnhang Vorachith (2016–)

Head of government

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith (2016–)

Most important parties with mandates in the last election

The revolutionary party of the Laotian people is the only permitted party

Main parties with mandates in the second most recent elections

The revolutionary party of the Laotian people is the only permitted party


99.6% in the parliamentary elections in April 2011, 98% in the parliamentary elections in April 2016

Upcoming elections

2021 parliamentary elections



Prosecution is brought for planning coup d’état

In the US, nine people are charged with planning a coup in Laos. Among the defendants is the former General Vang Pao, who emigrated to the United States in the 1970s and who is a leading member of the hmong. Vang Pao was later released to the bail and eventually placed under house arrest.