Can a New Generation of Leaders Tackle Laos’ Debt Woes?

Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, left, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Jan. 6, 2020 (AP photo by Mark Schiefelbein).
Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, left, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Jan. 6, 2020 (AP photo by Mark Schiefelbein).
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Over the course of three days in Laos in mid-January, more than 750 senior members of the ruling Lao People’s Revolutionary Party convened in the capital, Vientiane, to elect its political leaders for the next five years. The delegates to the 11th National Congress chose incumbent Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith to replace the retiring Bounnhang Vorachit as the party’s secretary general—the most powerful position in Laos’ communist system. If recent precedent is upheld, this paves the way for Sisoulith to also be confirmed as president when a nominally new National Assembly meets later this month. Elections for the assembly were […]

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