Laos National Assembly Approves Cabinet Reshuffle and New Appointments

#SootinClaimon.Com : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

The National Assembly (NA) on Monday approved the appointment of two new deputy prime ministers and a cabinet reshuffle, in the hope that the new appointees will be able to make a stronger contribution to resolving the nation’s economic woes.

Laos National Assembly Approves Cabinet Reshuffle and New Appointments

The appointment of the Minister of Public Security General Vilay Lakhamfong and Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith as new deputy prime ministers was approved by the 3rd Ordinary Session of the NA’s 9th legislature, in response to a proposal by Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh.

This brings the number of deputy prime ministers to five.

Assembly members also approved a cabinet reshuffle in which the Governor of the Bank of the Lao PDR, Sonexay Sitphaxay was replaced by Deputy Minister of Finance Bounleua Sinxayvoravong, while Minister of Industry and Commerce Khampheng Saysompheng was replaced by the President of the State Audit Organisation, Malaythong Kommasith.

Sonexay and Khampheng will take up posts as Ministers to the Prime Minister’s Office.

The NA also elected the Deputy Governor of Savannakhet province, Viengthavisone Thepphachanh, as President of the State Audit Organisation, replacing Malaythong.

The reshuffle comes just over a year after the current administration headed by Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh took office.

The changes were made to meet the changing needs of these government bodies as Laos strives to fulfil the national agendas on addressing the drug trade and financial and economic difficulties, which have been driven by a chronic budget deficit that accumulated massive public debt.

Public and publicly guaranteed debt increased to 88 per cent of GDP in 2021, according to the World Bank.

The sharp depreciation of the kip, shrinking foreign currency reserves and the skyrocketing price of global commodities triggered by the Ukraine crisis have exacerbated Laos’ economic vulnerability.

The inflation rate in Laos climbed to its highest level in 18 years in May, with prices rising by 12.8 per cent from a year ago, according to the Lao Statistics Bureau. The weak kip and the foreign currency shortfall have meant that insufficient foreign currency is available for the purchase of fuel, which has caused months of shortages.

The new appointees now inherit the challenges faced by their predecessors, as the agencies they head up are among the key state bodies mandated to address the urgent issues burdening the government.

Vientiane Times

Asia News Network

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Published : June 21, 2022

By : Vientiane Times

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